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Danny Alexander
Danny alexander hi.jpg
Alexander in 2011
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
In office
29 May 2010 – 8 May 2015
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by David Laws
Succeeded by Greg Hands
Secretary of State for Scotland
In office
12 May 2010 – 29 May 2010
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Jim Murphy
Succeeded by Michael Moore
Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson
In office
7 January 2015 – 11 May 2015
Leader Nick Clegg
Preceded by Vince Cable (2010)
Succeeded by Baroness Kramer
Member of Parliament
for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey
In office
5 May 2005 – 30 March 2015
Preceded by Constituency established
Succeeded by Drew Hendry
Personal details
Born (1972-05-15) 15 May 1972 (age 51)
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Political party Scottish Liberal Democrats
Rebecca Hoar
(m. 2005)
Children 2
Alma mater St Anne's College, Oxford
a. Office vacant from 12 May 2010 to 7 January 2015.

Sir Daniel Grian Alexander (born 15 May 1972) is a former politician who was Chief Secretary to the Treasury between 2010 and 2015. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey constituency from 2005 until the general election in May 2015. In his first parliamentary term (2005–2010), Alexander was the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Work and Pensions (2007–2008), the Chief of Staff to party leader Nick Clegg, and Chair of the Liberal Democrat Manifesto Group (2007–2010).

With the 2010 general election producing a hung parliament, he was one of the four Liberal Democrat MPs, along with Andrew Stunell, Chris Huhne, and David Laws, who were involved in negotiating the coalition agreement for the new coalition government with the Conservative Party. Alexander was initially appointed Secretary of State for Scotland, but at the end of May 2010, he was promoted to Chief Secretary to the Treasury, following the resignation of David Laws.

He was knighted in the 2015 Dissolution Honours Lists on 27 August 2015.

Early life and education

Alexander was born in Edinburgh. As a child he lived on the island of Colonsay where his father was a firefighter, potter and deputy pier master. He attended Colonsay Primary School. The family then moved briefly to South Uist in the Outer Hebrides, and next to Invergarry on the mainland, where he attended Invergarry Primary School.

He was then educated at Lochaber High School, Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. He went on to read Philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) at St Anne's College, Oxford.

Early career

From 1993 to 1994, Alexander worked as a press officer with the Scottish Liberal Democrats, before spending eight years as the Director of communications at the European Movement (1996–1999) and its successor organisation, the Britain in Europe campaign (1999–2004). From 2004 to 2005, he was the head of communications for Cairngorms National Park, considered by some critics as being his "biggest job outside of politics".

Member of Parliament

Alexander was elected to the newly formed constituency of Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey in the 2005 UK general election. He won the seat from David Stewart, who was previously the Labour MP for Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber, the basis of the new constituency.

In August 2005, it was revealed that Christopher Haskins, a Labour peer who was a friend of Alexander, had donated £2,500 to Alexander's campaign; subsequently Haskins was expelled from the Labour party for this action.

Front bench spokesman

At the start of the new parliament in 2005, Alexander was appointed by party leader Charles Kennedy as a junior spokesman for Work and Pensions, responsible for disability issues, where he contributed to debates on incapacity Benefit reform, the Child Support Agency and the Turner Report on future pension provision in the United Kingdom. From 2005 to 2008, he was also a member of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee.

In 2007, he was appointed as Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Social Exclusion for six months, before becoming the party's spokesperson for Work and Pensions, holding the post until June 2008. He gave this post up to focus on his role as chief of staff to the new party leader, Nick Clegg, as well as his responsibility for leading the preparation of the party's election manifesto.

Chief of staff to Nick Clegg

In June 2008, Alexander gave up the Work and Pensions brief to become Chief of Staff to the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg. As part of his role Alexander became the main author of the 2010 Liberal Democrat general election manifesto and became a confidant of the leader. After the election Alexander became one to the key negotiators in the coalition discussions with the Conservatives and played a key role in the negotiating of the Coalition agreement alongside Oliver Letwin.

Personal life

Alexander married Rebecca Hoar in July 2005 in Chippenham. They have two children.

In October 2010, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Harriet Harman mentioned Alexander during her speech at the Labour Party's Scottish Conference, referring to his red hair. She said, "Now, many of us in the Labour Party are conservationists and we all love the red squirrel. But there is one ginger rodent which we never want to see again in the Highlands – Danny Alexander." The speech generated controversial media attention and Alexander responded stating he was "proud" of his hair colour. Harman later apologised, admitting her conduct was "wrong".

In November 2012 the Cairngorm Brewery rebranded their beer called "Cairngorm Gold" as "Ginger Rodent" with Alexander's agreement and cooperation. This same beer is also exported to Australia where it is called "Sheepshaggers Gold". The brewery is located in his former constituency.

Alexander has been nicknamed "Beaker" due to his resemblance to The Muppet Show character.

Alexander is a self described heavy metal fan.

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