Annabel Goldie

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The Baroness Goldie

Official portrait of Baroness Goldie crop 2.jpg
Goldie in 2018
Minister of State for Defence
Assumed office
26 July 2019
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded byThe Earl Howe
Government Whip
In office
17 July 2016 – 25 July 2019
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byThe Baroness Evans of Bowes Park
Succeeded byThe Baroness Chisholm of Owlpen
Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party
In office
31 October 2005 – 4 November 2011
DeputyMurdo Fraser
LeaderMichael Howard
David Cameron
Preceded byDavid McLetchie
Succeeded byRuth Davidson
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
3 October 2013
Life Peerage
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for West Scotland
(1 of 7 Regional MSPs)
In office
6 May 1999 – 24 March 2016
Personal details
Annabel MacNicoll Goldie

(1950-02-27) 27 February 1950 (age 70)
Glasgow, Scotland
Political partyConservative
Alma materUniversity of Strathclyde

Annabel MacNicoll Goldie, Baroness Goldie DL (born 27 February 1950) is a Scottish politician and life peer who served as Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party from 2005 to 2011 and has served as Minister of State for Defence since 2019. She was a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP), as one of the additional members for the West Scotland region, from 1999 to 2016.

Early life and career[edit]

Goldie was born in Glasgow, Scotland and raised in Kilmacolm and Lochwinnoch in Renfrewshire.[1] Educated at Kilmacolm Primary School and Greenock Academy, she went on to study at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, graduating with an LL.B in 1971. Prior to entering politics, she was a solicitor and partner with Glasgow law firm Donaldson, Alexander, Russell & Haddow from 1978 to 2006.[2]

Political career[edit]

Goldie first stood for election to the House of Commons at the 1992 general election for the Renfrew West and Inverclyde constituency, coming second with 32.9% of the vote.[3]

Goldie was elected to the Scottish Parliament in the 1999 election as a regional member for the West of Scotland electoral region. She has retained this seat in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 elections. She became leader of the Scottish Conservatives in 2005 until standing down in 2011.

In addition to her appearance on the regional list ballots, she also stood as a candidate in the West Renfrewshire constituency for the Scottish Parliament in 1999, 2003 and 2007. While increasing the Conservative share of the vote each time, she has yet to be elected although raised her position from third to second place in 2007 with a reduced Labour majority.

The constituency was abolished at the 2011 election, with Goldie unsuccessfully contending the new Renfrewshire North and West constituency.

On 31 October 2005, Goldie became acting leader after David McLetchie resigned as leader of the Scottish Conservatives following adverse publicity created by the publishing of details of expenses he claimed for taxi journeys.[4]

Goldie put herself forward as a leadership candidate on 2 November 2005—a joint nomination with Murdo Fraser as her proposed deputy.[5] Their nomination was unopposed and Goldie was appointed leader on 8 November 2005, the first woman to lead the Scottish Conservative Party. In her maiden speech as leader, she promised to act against "disloyalty and disobedience" in the party and in a reference to Margaret Thatcher she said, "I think you may take it matron's handbag will be in hyper-action. There could be worse precedents to follow".[6]

At her first party conference in March 2006, Goldie set out her plans to make the Scottish Conservatives the "principal party of opposition in Scotland". However, her second conference as party leader was overshadowed by a leaked memo by David Mundell, the only Scottish Conservative MP in the House of Commons, and Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, in which he criticised Goldie's leadership.[7]

Goldie won praise for her leadership of the party into the 2007 Scottish Parliament election and personally as a skilled debater, and was labelled a "much-liked public figure".[8] From February 2009 onwards, she was given monthly attendance rights to participate in the Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet in Westminster.[9]

On 9 May 2011, Goldie stated her intention to resign as leader of the Scottish Conservatives, citing her party's disappointing election result; she stood down on 4 November following the election of Ruth Davidson as her successor. Goldie later served as the party's constitutional spokesperson during the 2014 Scottish referendum and stood down from the Parliament at the 2016 election.

Goldie was created a life peer on 3 October 2013, taking the title Baroness Goldie, of Bishopton in the County of Renfrewshire.[10] In June 2016, she was appointed a Baroness-in-Waiting in the Royal Household, acting as a whip in the UK Government. She was promoted in July 2019 to Minister of State for Defence.[11]

Career timeline[edit]

  • 1971 – graduated with an LLB from Strathclyde University.
  • 1978–January 2006 – solicitor in the Donaldson, Alexander, Russell & Haddow law firm in Glasgow.
  • 1992 – stood unsuccessfully for the Renfrew West & Inverclyde constituency.
  • 1999–2016 – MSP for the West of Scotland electoral region.
  • 2005–2011 – Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party.
  • 2011–2013 – Scottish Conservative spokesman on Culture and Communities.
  • 2013–present – Scottish Conservative spokesman on the Constitution.
  • 2013 – was put on the 2013 list as a Conservative Working peer in the House of Lords.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Goldie lives in Bishopton, Renfrewshire.[1] She is also an Elder in the Church of Scotland, and sits on the West of Scotland Advisory Board of the Salvation Army. She is unmarried and is a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Renfrewshire.[13]


  1. ^ a b "THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER: *** Local Inquiry, I have been appointed for that purpose by the Secretary of State for Scotland at the request of the Boundary Commission to hold this Inquiry, that is all under Section 6 and paragraph 6 of Schedule 1 to". Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  2. ^ "Personal Information MSPs Scottish Parliament". The Scottish Parliament MSPs. The Scottish Parliament. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Guardian- Annabel Goldie profile". London: Archived from the original on 8 October 2007. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  4. ^ "McLetchie resigns as Tory leader". BBC News. 31 October 2005. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  5. ^ "Top Tories make deal over leader". BBC News. 2 November 2005. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  6. ^ Matthew Tempest, political correspondent (8 November 2005). "Guardian- "Goldie to lead Scottish Tories"". London: Archived from the original on 24 August 2007. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  7. ^ " "Mundell heaps praise on Goldie"". Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  8. ^ Andrew Black (22 May 2008). "'Nag' who won her party's respect". BBC News. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  9. ^ "Galloway Today – "Goldie at shadow cabinet meetings"".
  10. ^ "No. 60649". The London Gazette. 7 October 2013. p. 19679.
  11. ^ "Baroness Goldie page on UK Parliament website". Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  12. ^ "Working peerages announced". GOV.UK.
  13. ^ "About Annabel". Archived from the original on 4 March 2014.

External links[edit]

Scottish Parliament
Constituency established Member of the Scottish Parliament
for West Scotland

Succeeded by
Maurice Golden
Party political offices
Preceded by
David McLetchie
Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party
Succeeded by
Ruth Davidson
Preceded by
Jackson Carlaw
Deputy Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party
Succeeded by
Murdo Fraser
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl Howe
Minister of State for Defence