Birthday: December 31, 1954
Age: 66 Years, 66 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Also Known As: Alexander Elliot Anderson Salmond
Born Country: England
Born in: Linlithgow, United Kingdom
Famous as: Former First Minister of Scotland
Height: 5'8" (173 cm), 5'8" Males
Spouse/Ex-: Moira Salmond
father: Robert Fyfe Findlay Salmond
mother: Mary Stewart Salmond
Founder/Co-Founder: Scottish National Party, Council of Economic Advisers
education: Edinburgh Napier University, Linlithgow Academy, University of St Andrews
Who is Alex Salmond?
Alexander Elliot Anderson Salmond is a seasoned Scottish politician. He remained the longest serving First Minister of Scotland serving for over seven years and also leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) for two terms. He served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Banff and Buchan. After establishment of the devolved Scottish Parliament, he served as Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Banff and Buchan, Gordon and Aberdeenshire East. He later served as MP for Gordon. He became First Minister of Scotland after SNP secured confidence and supply support from Scottish Green Party and following SNP’s win with an overall majority during the 2011 Scottish Parliament election, he was re-elected as First Minister. A leading advocate of Scottish independence, Salmond repeatedly called for a referendum on the matter. After majority of the Scottish people voted against independence of Scotland from the UK during the 2014 independence referendum, Salmond announced that he would not stand for re-election as leader of SNP and would resign as First Minister. He resigned from SNP in August 2018 following allegations of sexual misconduct. He was charged with 14 offences but was acquitted of all charges following a trial.
Early Life & Career
Alexander Elliot Anderson Salmond was born on December 31, 1954, in Linlithgow, Scotland, to civil servants Robert Fyfe Findlay Salmond and Mary Stewart Salmond in their home at 101 Preston Road. He was the second of their four children. His father served in the Royal Navy during World War II. Salmond is a member of the Church of Scotland.
In 1966, he joined Linlithgow Academy and studied there till 1972. He then attended Edinburgh College of Commerce and obtained an HNC in Business Studies in 1973. Thereafter he attended the University of St Andrews, where he lived in Andrew Melville Hall. In 1977, he was nominated to join St Andrews Community Council and became vice-president (education) of the Students' Representative Council. In May 1978, he completed his graduation earning a 2:2 Joint Honours MA degree in Economics and Medieval History.
Alex Salmond joined the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland in the Government Economic Service as an assistant economist in 1978. A couple of years later, he became assistant economist at the Royal Bank of Scotland. He eventually became an oil economist there in 1982 and while continuing with the position, he also started working as a bank economist there in 1984. The "Royal Bank/BBC oil index”, which is still in use and continues to be published monthly, was devised by him in 1983.
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In 1973, while attending the University of St Andrews, he joined the Federation of Student Nationalists there and became active in SNP. Salmond and a friend, the only two fully paid-up members of SNP at the university, were elected president and treasurer. Salmond became a leading member of the 79 Group, the socialist republican organisation within SNP. After 79 Group was expelled from SNP in 1982, Salmond and other group leaders were suspended from membership of the party. They were however readmitted to the party a month later.
In 1985, Alex Salmond became SNP’s Vice Convener for Publicity. He assumed office as MP for Banff and Buchan on June 12, 1987, and became Senior Vice Convener (Depute Leader) of his party on September 26, that year. From 1987 to 1992, he remained a member of the House of Commons Energy Select committee.
As Gordon Wilson stood down as SNP leader, Salmond contested and beat opponent Margaret Ewing to become the party’s leader on September 22, 1990. He played an active role along with Scottish Labour leader Donald Dewar and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Jim Wallace in securing a victory for formation of a Scottish Parliament with devolved powers in the 1997 Scotland referendum. He opposed the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia.
The devolved Scottish Parliament was established in 1999 following which Salmond served as MSP for Banff and Buchan from May 6, 1999 to June 7, 2001, while continuing to serve as MP of the constituency till April 12, 2010.
Meanwhile on September 26, 2000, Alex Salmond stepped down as SNP leader and after leaving the Scottish Parliament in 2001, Salmond retained his Westminster seat during the 2001 general election and led his party in the British House of Commons. During parliamentary debates, Salmond strongly voiced against participation of the UK in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and supported Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price’s attempt to impeach Tony Blair, the then Prime Minister of the UK, for "high crimes and misdemeanours" over the Iraq issue. Salmond remained part of drafting team for the motion to impeach Blair. The motion was tabled in the House of Commons in November 2004 but was never debated.
Alex Salmond returned as leader of SNP on September 3, 2004, and held office till November 14, 2014. Meanwhile he held his Banff and Buchan seat during the 2005 general election. He became MSP for Gordon on May 3, 2007, while his party emerged as the largest single party during the 2007 Scottish Parliament election. After his party thrived in securing confidence and supply support from Scottish Green Party, the Scottish Parliament elected Salmond as First Minister on May 16, 2007. He was also made Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland. Four weeks later, he was inducted to the British Privy Council.
During the UN Climate Change Conference held in Copenhagen in December 2009, he campaigned for climate change legislation. He also drew special attention to the importance of renewable energy and sustainable development in Scotland during his 2010 New Year message. He stood down as MP during the 2010 General Election, however argued against decision of BBC of not allowing SNP on the televised Prime Ministerial Debates.
Although the Additional Member System was initially implemented by Westminster Labour government to prevent any single party to achieve an overall parliamentary majority, SNP won with an overall majority during the 2011 Scottish Parliament election and Salmond was re-elected as MSP for Aberdeenshire East. He was re-elected as First Minister, unopposed, on May 18, 2011.
A leading proponent of Scottish independence, Alex Salmond called for a referendum on the issue. The Scottish Government announced on January 10, 2012, that they intend to hold the referendum in late 2014. On October 15, 2012, the Edinburgh Agreement was signed by Salmond and the then British Prime Minister David Cameron at St Andrew's House, Edinburgh, on the terms for the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.
The referendum on Scottish independence from the UK was held on September 18, 2014, where majority of the Scottish people voted against independence. The following day, Salmond announced that he would not stand for re-election as leader of SNP during the SNP National Conference in November, and would resign as First Minister. He held office as leader of SNP till November 14, 2014, and submitted his resignation as First Minister to the Scottish Parliament and to the Queen on November 18 that year.
He became MP for Gordon from May 8, 2015, and held office till May 3, 2017. He was inducted as foreign affairs spokesman of SNP in the House of Commons on May 13, 2015. He lost his Gordon seat during the 2017 UK General Election, marking his first defeat in a parliamentary election after entering Westminster in 1987.
A distinguished political figure, Alex Salmond received many honorary degrees including a Doctor of the University (D.Univ.) from the University of Glasgow on April 20, 2015.
He resigned from SNP in August 2018 after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced. It was alleged that he committed such offences in 2013 while serving as First Minister. In January 2019, he faced 14 charges including attempted rape and sexual assault. Trial of his case began at the High Court in Edinburgh on March 9, 2020, and ended on March 23, 2020, with the jury acquitting him of all charges.
Alex Salmond hosts the UK weekly political talk show ‘The Alex Salmond Show’ that was launched by the RT channel (formerly known as Russia Today) on November 9, 2017, and premiered on November 16 that year. It airs every Thursday at 07:30, 12:30 and 22:30 and has featured different political and public figures. The production company ‘Slainte Media’ that Salmond co-owns with former SNP MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh produces the show.
Family & Personal Life
Salmond married Moira French McGlashan, 17 years his senior, in 1981. They met in the 1970s after Salmond joined the Scottish Office where Moira was serving as a senior civil servant and became Salmond’s boss. They have no children and reside in a converted mill in Strichen, Aberdeenshire.
Salmond enjoys horse racing, golf, football, reading, watching Star Trek and listening to country music during his spare time. He became a racing tipster for Glasgow's Herald newspaper. He attends football matches sometimes and supports the Scotland national football team and Heart of Midlothian FC.