Douglas Alexander

Knowledge Identifier: +Douglas_Alexander


Douglas Alexander

British Labour Party politician, who is currently the Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in the shadow cabinet of Ed Miliband add

Category: Politics

Born in 1967.

Countries: United Kingdom (63%), Scotland (18%), United States (6%)

Main connections: Scotland, Gordon Brown, Scottish Parliament

Linked to: Secretary of State for International Development, Secretary of State for Transport, Scottish Labour Party, Department of Trade and Industry




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Douglas Alexander was born in 1967 add something


A prominent member of the 1st Bishopton Company of the Boys Brigade, he played bugle in the Company's marching band helping them win the Scottish BB Marching Band Championship in 1981 add something


Alexander attended Park Mains High School in Erskine, in Renfrewshire, from where he joined the Labour Party as a school boy in 1982 add something


In 1984 he won a Scottish scholarship to attend Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific in Canada, where he gained the International Baccalaureate Diploma, returning to Scotland to study politics and modern history at the University of Edinburgh add something


Whilst studying in America, he worked for Michael Dukakis during the 1988 American Presidential Election campaign, he worked for a Democratic senator in Washington DC add something


He graduated from Edinburgh with a first-class degree in 1990 add something


In 1990 he worked as a speech-writer and parliamentary researcher for Shadow Trade and Industry Secretary, Gordon Brown add something


He returned to Edinburgh to study for an LL.B. at Edinburgh University, where he won the Novice Moot Trophy and graduated with Distinction in 1993 add something


Born in Glasgow, Alexander was first elected to parliament as the Labour Party candidate in the Paisley South by-election in 1997 add something


He is the Member of Parliament for the Paisley & Renfrewshire South constituency, having first been elected to parliament in 1997 add something


The Perth and Kinross constituency was abolished, but Alexander was again chosen to be the Labour candidate in the newly drawn Perth constituency at the 1997 general election add something


On 28 July 1997 the Labour Member of Parliament for Paisley South, Gordon McMaster, committed suicide add something


Alexander, who grew up in Renfrewshire, was chosen to contest the by-election and he was duly elected to serve as the Member of Parliament for Paisley South on 6 November 1997 add something


Ed Miliband - In early 1999, Miliband was tasked by Gordon Brown to work with Scottish Labour's Election Co-ordinator Douglas Alexander to help overturn the Scottish National Party's opinion poll lead in the run-up to the first devolved Scottish Parliament election


His father, a Church of Scotland minister, conducted the funeral of the inaugural First Minister of Scotland, Donald Dewar at Glasgow Cathedral in 2000 add something


Alexander took a successful co-ordinating role in his party's campaign for the 2001 general election add something


He was rewarded by Tony Blair and was appointed as the Minister of State with responsibility for "e-commerce and competitiveness" at the Department of Trade and Industry in June 2001 add something


In May 2002, Alexander was transferred to the Cabinet Office as Minister of State add something


In June 2003 Alexander was promoted to Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and in September 2004 was moved to Minister of State for Trade at both the Department of Trade and Industry and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office add something


Minister of State for Trade - When Douglas Alexander became Minister of State for Trade in September 2004, he was given a special provision to attend the Cabinet meetings


Ruth Kelly - In a minor reshuffle, she was promoted to be Minister for the Cabinet Office on 9 September 2004, replacing Douglas Alexander


After the 2005 general election, he was given the role of Minister of State for Europe, part of the Foreign Office, with special provision to attend Cabinet add something


For the 2005 General Election, Alexander's Paisley South constituency was abolished, and he was elected in its successor seat, Paisley & Renfrewshire South, which takes in most of Paisley town centre and southern areas of the town, as well as the towns of Glenburn, Howwood, Johnstone, Kilbarchan and Lochwinnoch add something


On 7 June 2005, he was made a Member of the Privy Council add something


Minister of State for Europe - This first occurred when Denis MacShane was replaced by Douglas Alexander after the 2005 general election, although Alexander's successor ceased to have this right


From 2006-07, he held the two cabinet posts of Secretary of State for Scotland and Secretary of State for Transport add something


On 5 May 2006 he was appointed Secretary of State for Transport and, simultaneously, Secretary of State for Scotland, replacing Alistair Darling, where he oversaw the running of the 2007 Scottish Parliament election add something


Following Gordon Brown's appointment as Prime Minister on 27 June 2007, he appointed Douglas Alexander as Secretary of State for International Development add something


Following Labour's 2010 election defeat and subsequent election of Ed Miliband as party leader, Alexander was made the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions until January 2011, when following a cabinet re-shuffle, he was appointed the Shadow Foreign Secretary, add something


His sister, Wendy Alexander, was involved in politics as an MSP until 2011 and briefly as the Leader of the Labour Party in the Scottish Parliament until she resigned in 2008 add something


Ed Miliband - Alan Johnson would later resign from his position, stepping down for "personal reasons" on 20 January 2011, necessitating Miliband's first reshuffle, in which he made Balls Shadow Chancellor, Cooper Shadow Home Secretary and Douglas Alexander Shadow Foreign Secretary


In September 2012 Douglas Alexander gave an interview to the Evening Standard newspaper criticising Ken Livingstone's election campaign saying Mr Livingstone paid the "deserved price" when he lost the London mayoral election add something


On 17 January 2013 in a speech to London thinktank Chatham House, Douglas Alexander outlined his support for the UK to remain a member in the European Union but would not support a federal United States of Europe add something


On 5 February 2013 MP Douglas Alexander voted in favour in the House of Commons Second Reading vote on marriage equality in Britain add something


In October 2013, he was appointed by Miliband as the party's Chair of General Election Strategy add something


In 2015, he failed to be re-elected to the Paisley and Renfrewshire South seat in the House of Commons when it was won by Mhairi Black of the Scottish National Party add something


He lost his seat to 20-year-old Mhairi Black of the Scottish National Party at the General Election on 8 May 2015 add something


Scottish Labour Party - Red - However, the party suffered a landslide defeat in the general election in May 2015, losing 40 of their 41 seats to the SNP. Many senior party figures were unseated, including Murphy himself , Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander and Shadow Scotland Secretary Margaret Curran


It was announced in March 2016 that Alexander had joined law firm Pinsent Masons as a "strategic advisor" add something