It is a great privilege for me to represent the Dumfriesshire constituency in the Scottish Parliament.
For generations my family has lived and worked in Dumfries and Galloway and, as such, I feel very strongly about protecting the interests of our communities, our settlements and our local people. I grew up in, and am still proud to call Moffat home. I attended Moffat Academy before moving to Edinburgh to study Law at University. After graduating I began working for the global oil and gas company Royal Dutch Shell before taking a firmer interest in politics working within Westminster as a parliamentary aide, including to former Attorney General Geoffrey Cox QC MP.
As a committed Unionist I returned to Dumfriesshire in the run up to the Independence Referendum in 2014 to help co-ordinate the local 'Better Together' campaign. Seeing our region vote so strongly to remain part of the United Kingdom strengthened my determination to stand for Ruth Davidson's Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party in the 2016 Holyrood elections in order to provide a strong opposition to the SNP's plans for a second referendum.
In May 2016 I became one of the youngest constituency MSPs since the Scottish Parliament's creation in 1999 winning, what was at the time, Labour's 'safest seat' within Scotland. I am proud to act as a voice for the needs of the people of Dumfriesshire in Parliament and ensure that the specific needs of my constituency are always being heard by the Scottish Government including their concerns surrounding rural education, improving our road and rail networks and protecting our local NHS and Police services.
I am currently Shadow Minister for the Constitution and External Affairs and a member of the Parliament's Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee. I am also a member of a number of cross-party groups with a focus on learning difficulties and mental health. Having struggled with dyspraxia and dyslexia myself, I remain determined to ensure young people both within my constituency and across Scotland get the support they need. I have previously been a member of the Justice Committee, the Education and Skills Committee and Human Rights and Equalities Committee.
In the rare free time I get away from politics, I enjoy spending quality time with my wife Catherine, who I married in 2015 and our daughter who was born in June 2019. I also learned to ride a horse from scratch so I could take part in the Langholm Common Riding, Guid Nychburris and the Lockerbie, Sanquhar and Annan Riding of the Marches as the Member of the Scottish Parliament for Dumfriesshire.