Ian Blackford was born on 14 May 1961, and brought up in Edinburgh. His first job on leaving High School was working as a teller behind the counter in a Bank of Scotland Branch. From this start he moved to London to pursue a career in finance, gaining the skills and expertise necessary to work his way ‘up the ladder’, eventually leading Deutsche Bank operations in the Netherlands and Scotland.
A lifelong advocate of Scottish independence and a fairer society, he and his wife Ann moved to Skye in 2004 when they were able to purchase a croft which had historic links to her family and where they both tend a range of livestock.
As a keen football fan his main team is Hibernian, although he also follows the Scottish national side across the world as a member of ‘The Tartan Army’.
Described by the Speaker of the House of Commons as a ‘fastidious’ Member of Parliament, Ian is exceptionally hard working both in London and back home in Ross, Skye and Lochaber.
Having first joined the SNP at the age of 16, the vast majority of Ian’s life has been dedicated to the dream of Scottish Independence and bringing with it a fairer society. Following Ian’s success at the 2015 General Election winning the trust of voters to represent the constituency of Ross, Skye and Lochaber, he was appointed Pensions Spokesperson for the SNP Westminster Group. Throughout that Parliament he fronted an energetic team, who campaigned on issues that looked to ensure a fair deal for pensioners. This was displayed most prominently in championing the WASPI ladies cause in Parliament at every opportunity.
After the culmination of the 2017 snap General Election, Ian was elected by his fellow MP’s as the SNPs Westminster Parliamentary Leader. For over a year now Ian has felt privileged to lead such a dynamic, hardworking team of MP’s, as they look to ensure that Scotland’s voice is heard at Westminster.
He has a proven record of speaking up for this constituency as well as on Scottish, UK and international issues, being especially noted as SNP Pensions spokesman vociferously pursuing the Government in seeking justice for the WASPI women.
Ian Blackford Quick Facts
- Ian Blackford was successfully elected MP for Ross, Skye & Lochaber on May 7th 2015 with 20119 votes, taking 48.1% of the vote.
- Prior to his public commitment, Ian worked as an analyst with NatWest Securities, and when the company was brought by BT Alex. Brown, he became the managing director.
- 20 years of work in the financial industry, he left to do independent consultancy work, forming an investor relations company called First Seer in 2002.
- In 2005, Blackford joined the Dutch baking products company CSM as an investor relations manager, and in 2006 he was appointed non-executive chairman of the Edinburgh-based telecommunications firm Commsworld.
- Ian has been the chairman of the Glendale Trust, an organisation responsible for a community-owned estate on Skye, which made an approach to Highland Council to bring a historic pier under community control.
- In 1997 he unsuccessfuly ran as a candidate in the Paisley 1997 by-election and then for the Ayr seat in the 1997 general election, where he was not elected.
- Ian had been treasurer of the SNP and during this time he began to be viewed as a critic of the leader Alex Salmond. Blackford was removed from the post in 2000, after he had tried to impose financial controls to tackle the party’s overdraft.
- Ian was educated at the Royal High School in Edinburgh.
During the 13 June 2018 session of Prime Minister’s Questions, Ian Blackford, along with almost all sitting Scottish National Party MPs, walked out of the House of Commons after Blackford raised a question to Prime Minister Theresa May regarding both no Scottish MP being given time to debate the Scotland-related areas of the EU Withdrawal Bill the previous night (when an English MP filibustered to prevent Scottish MPs from speaking) and wanting the chamber to immediately have a vote on the motion to sit in private.
Blackford was irate in asking the question and was instructed numerous times by Speaker John Bercow to resume his seat so the Prime Minister could answer his question. Blackford refused to do this as a protest to “Scotland’s voice not being heard”. Eventually, Bercow used Standing Order 42 to eject Blackford from the chamber, which Blackford complied with, followed by almost every SNP MP.
This was the first time that any such incident as this had ever occurred during Prime Minister’s Questions as well as the House of Commons. The incident was broadcast on live television on the BBC and Sky News due to the publicity PMQs regularly brings.
Ian Blackford Biography and Profile (Ian Blackford Biography)