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David Mundell

WS MP
Official portrait of David Mundell crop 2.jpg
Secretary of State for Scotland
Assumed office
11 May 2015
Prime Minister
Preceded by Alistair Carmichael
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland
In office
11 May 2010 – 11 May 2015
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Ann McKechin
Succeeded by The Lord Dunlop
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland
In office
7 December 2005 – 11 May 2010
Leader David Cameron
Preceded by Eleanor Laing
Succeeded by Jim Murphy
Member of Parliament
for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by Constituency established
Majority 9,441 (19.3%)
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for South of Scotland
In office
6 May 1999 – 5 May 2005
Preceded by Constituency established
Succeeded by Derek Brownlee
Personal details
Born
David Gordon Mundell

27 May 1962 (1962-05-27) (age 57)
Dumfries, Scotland
Political party
  • Social Democrats (before 1988)
  • Conservative (1988–present)
Spouse(s) Lynda Carmichael (divorced)
Children 3, including Oliver Mundell
Alma mater
Website davidmundell.com
David Mundell visiting Stornoway Black Pudding
David Mundell visiting Stornoway Black Pudding

David Gordon Mundell, WS (born 27 May 1962) is a Scottish Conservative Party politician and solicitor. He was appointed Secretary of State for Scotland in May 2015, the first openly gay Conservative to hold a ministerial position in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) of Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale in Scotland since 2005.

He was elected as MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale in 2005 and was promoted to Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland from 2005 to 2010 and Under-Secretary of State for Scotland from 2010 to 2015. He has served in the Cabinet as Scotland Secretary since 2015, the first Conservative to hold the position since Michael Forsyth in 1997.

Background

Born in Dumfries, Mundell grew up in Newton Wamphray and Lockerbie. He attended Lockerbie Academy before reading Law at the University of Edinburgh (MA), also gaining a Diploma in Legal Practice (Dip LP). After further studies, he graduated from Strathclyde Business School as MBA.

Having become a Young Conservative aged 14, he switched to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) while at university in 1981. In 2002, he stated: "the first Thatcher Government did get a bit bogged down and it wasn't really the radical government that subsequently emerged,... And the fact that you had a completely new opportunity to wipe the slate clean, with no baggage, was a very attractive thing".

He practised as a solicitor before joining BT as Group Legal Advisor for Scotland in 1991. He became BT Scotland's Head of National Affairs, remaining with BT until being elected as an MSP. Mundell served as an SDP Councillor for Annandale and Eskdale from 1984–86 and then for Dumfries and Galloway until 1987, while a postgraduate student.

Mundell is a member of the Society of Writers to Her Majesty's Signet (WS) and of the Law Society of Scotland.

Parliamentary career

Scottish Parliament

Mundell was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 1999 and 2003 as a "list" MSP for the South of Scotland.

House of Commons

In the 2005 general election, Mundell was elected as MP for the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale constituency. Following his election to Westminster, Mundell resigned from the Scottish Parliament in June 2005. His seat was taken by Derek Brownlee, who was next on the Conservative's South of Scotland candidate list. As the sole Conservative Scottish parliamentary representative, David Cameron (as Leader of HM Opposition) appointed him Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland in December 2005.

Mundell was among the 18 MPs (either Scottish or representing Scottish constituencies) who supported the Commons Motion stating football "should not be any different from other competing sports and our young talent should be allowed to show their skills on the world stage", thereby endorsing the idea of Team GB entering a British football team in the London 2012 Olympics. Football's governing bodies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland oppose a Great Britain team, fearing it would stop them competing as individual nations in future tournaments.

Mundell represented the Scottish Conservative Party at the three Scottish Leaders' Debates broadcast on ITV1, Sky News and BBC1 during the 2010 general election campaign.

Government minister

Prior to the 2010 general election, Mundell served as the Conservative Shadow Scottish Secretary. Following that election, the Conservative Party formed a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats. He held the non-cabinet role of Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, since the office of Secretary of State for Scotland was given to Liberal Democrat MP Danny Alexander (then Michael Moore and Alistair Carmichael), in view of the Liberal Democrats' greater representation of Scottish seats. On 9 June 2010, Mundell was appointed a Privy Counsellor.

Mundell was returned to Parliament at the 2015 general election with a much reduced majority of 798 votes (1.5%), although the Conservative Party's share of the vote increased by 1.8%. He is to be a part-time member of the cabinet committee working on strategies for Brexit.

Following the Conservative Party's success at the 2015 general election, Mundell succeeded Liberal Democrat Alistair Carmichael as Secretary of State for Scotland. He was the only Conservative MP to represent a Scottish constituency in the 56th parliament (2015—2017); being joined by a further twelve following the 2017 snap general election.

Constituency issues

In 2015, Mundell opened a food bank in the Dumfries and Galloway constituency, which adjoins his own and was at the time represented by the Scottish National Party's Richard Arkless. After the opening, Mundell was escorted from an angry anti-austerity demonstration by police. Mundell, who had previously denied that welfare reform changes were behind the increased demand for food banks, was accused of hypocrisy by opponents who said the opening was "nothing to celebrate". Mundell said he was willing to work with all local organisations who wanted to eradicate poverty.

Personal life

On 13 January 2016, Mundell publicly came out as gay on his personal website and he is believed to be the first openly-gay Conservative cabinet minister. His nickname is 'Fluffy'.

He was previously married to Lynda Carmichael but the couple have divorced. He has three children, one of whom, Oliver Mundell, successfully stood as a Conservative candidate for the Scottish Parliament in May 2016.


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