• 2005: I was appointed Chair of the Administration Committee.
     

  • 2005: The three Aberdeen constituencies merged into two, due to boundary changes. I was elected to represent Aberdeen North.
     

  • 2001 - 2005: I was appointed as a Member of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.
     

  • 2001: In the General Election I was re-elected Member of Parliament for Aberdeen Central.
     

  • 1999: The House Magazine  published a biographical article.
     

  • 1999: I moved with Ian McCartney MP, Minister of State at the DTI, to the Cabinet Office, where we were involved with the Government's programmes of Modernisation, eGovernment and Drugs Policy.
     

  • 1997: On my return to Parliament, I was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Ian McCartney MP. In my role as PPS, I was heavily involved in policy development and introduction of the Employment Rights Act (1999). Responsibilities also included the introduction of the National Minimum Wage and the Working Time Regulations.
     

  • 1997: On May 1st in the General Election, with the support of 17,745 voters, I was elected Labour MP for the new seat of Aberdeen Central.  I won with a majority of 10,801.
     

  • 1991: I was top goal-scorer for The Westminster Eleven - the House of Commons All-Party football team. I scored the third goal in the North MPs defeat of South MPs in a charity match at Wembley Stadium. This, of course, has nothing at all to do with politics, but is something I am proud of.
     

  • 1988-1992: Shadow Minister for Oil and Gas - I played a prominent role in a Shadow Energy Team led successively by Tony Blair and Frank Dobson. I was particularly involved in campaigning for the Health and Safety Executive to take responsibility for offshore safety following the Piper Alpha disaster in 1988.  I also helped develop the Labour Party programme for taxation of the Oil and Gas Industry and the concept of the Petroleum Industry Regulator.
     

  • 1987: I was elected Member of Parliament for the marginal seat of Aberdeen South.
     

  • I was born in Edinburgh and left school at the age of 16. I attended night classes and attained qualifications to study law at Dundee University.  After graduating I trained and qualified as a solicitor, working mainly in legal aid and specialising in Child Law and Mental Health Law.  I also worked for a number of trade unions.