MSP & Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats
Willie Rennie MSP, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats
Married with two sons, Willie grew up in Strathmiglo, where his family ran the village shop and still live today. His grandfather was the local Minister and his mother was secretary of the local community association. A member of Dunfermline’s Carnegie Harriers, he’s a keen, if not fast, runner. While a student, he was Depute President of the Student Union and after graduating with a degree in biology and a diploma in industrial administration he went on to work for the party in Cornwall. Willie was Chief Executive of the Scottish Liberal Democrats and the Party’s Chief of Staff at the Scottish Parliament between 1997 and 2001. Before his election Willie worked for a small communications firm advising companies and charities. When a Member of Parliament he was a member of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee and Shadow Defence Minister. After four years at Westminster, Willie became a Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for Scotland before opting to stand for Holyrood to which he was elected in 2011, immediately becoming leader. However, he says his finest achievement is being the runner up in the Scottish Coal Carrying Championship.
Professor of Cognitive NeuroImaging, Aston University
Chair, Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) Council
Ocean Rower and Environmental Advocate
President of Murray Edwards College
Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service