Jackson Carlaw – Tory Party in Scotland – Deputy leader (Ruth Davidson’s Third Choice) – A Long History of Despair and Failure Yet He Pontificates in Holyrood at the Taxpayer’s Expense



MSP's 'Wear It Pink' for Breast Cancer Campaign 2009





Jackson Carlaw

Carlaw stood as the Conservative candidate in the 1982 Queen’s Park By-election (failed) and in the 1983 GE in Pollok (failed)

He gave up seeking election to Westminster and then turned his attention to Holyrood standing as a candidate for Eastwood in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 parliament elections (failed 3 times).

He was looked after by the Tories and was elected on the party list system in 2007 and 2011 representing the West of Scotland.

In 2016 he gained the support of the 10,000 Jewish electorate in Eastwood and was elected, by a narrow margin as its MSP. (sixth time lucky)








23 March 2003: A top Tory whose car firm crashed owing more than £24million is to stand in the Holyrood elections.

But Jackson Carlaw, former deputy chairman of the Scots Tories, won’t be campaigning on his business record. Carlaw, 42, was boss of car giants First Ford, which once boasted a £77million turnover but went into receivership in November 2002. The receiver its debts include £4million to the B.O.S. , £1.5million to Customs and Excise and thousands of pounds to 300 staff. (Sunday Mail)

He was also a director of Wylies Automotive Services (trading as Auto Contracts) which went into administration in February 2002. The contract hire and leasing firm is being wound up, and 18 people have lost their jobs. The latest available documents lodged with Companies House reveal its four directors took £163K from the company in the year ended 2000, when losses were £39K, compared with more than £290K in 1999.








8 October 2003: Hutchesons’ parents query Carlaw’s role – Surprise over choice after collapse of two businesses

Parents at one of Scotland’s most prestigious private schools are questioning the appointment of Jackson Carlaw, a former governor, to lead its strategic review, just months after two of his businesses collapsed. They are astonished by the development, especially when Hutchesons’ Grammar is embroiled in controversy over perceived falling standards and concerns about finances.The board of governors yesterday defended the appointment, saying it was not only ”grateful” to Carlaw for undertaking the job, but for using his extensive knowledge for the Glasgow school’s good.

Carlaw became a Hutchesons’ governor in 2001 but resigned in July to take up the new post. His remit is ”to ensure the school remains at the forefront of modern educational expectations”. The school refused to say how much he was being paid for the part-time role. Issues surrounding the appointment are expected to be raised at the forthcoming annual meeting.

Jack Irvine, who has two children at Hutchesons’, said: ”It beggars belief that a failed businessman has been appointed to the position.” He added: ”Other parents I have spoken to are also astonished by the appointment, bearing in mind Hutchesons’ has access to some of the finest brains in the west of Scotland, including successful businessmen.” Other parents, who asked not to be identified, expressed little confidence in the appointment. One said: ”With his track record, I cannot understand how it is considered he will turn fortunes around.” (The Herald)







10 Oct 2003: Mystery of lost paintings at collapsed firm Carlaw was director of car hire company

A collapsed company headed by Jackson Carlaw the Scottish Conservative party executive member and failed MSP candidate in Eastwood is at the centre of a mystery surrounding 22 missing works of art. The firm’s private records reveal ownership of 50 pieces as investments, including paintings – but only 28 have been recovered, according to Ernst and Young, the administrator.

Latest available accounts to December 2000 disclose under the heading Investments: ”Paintings, at a cost of £69,028, were acquired by the company during the year from Wylies Ltd, a subsidiary company.” Descriptions of the works have not been released, but are believed to include 10 still life paintings; five cameo pieces with maritime themes; three Glasgow and Edinburgh tenement scenes; three maritime sculptures on driftwood, and a painting of a naked woman.(The Herald)







12 April 2005: Top Tory under fire for racist jokes

A senior Scottish Tory was castigated yesterday for making racist jokes at the launch of the Conservatives’ election manifesto. Jackson Carlaw, a long-time party activist in Scotland and a former office holder, gave the opening speech to welcome activists before the arrival of Michael Howard, the party leader. He made a series of jokes, most of which failed to raise even a titter, including one about Chinese tourists and another about the Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe’s chiropodist.

Carlaw said he had met a Chinese couple in Edinburgh who said they were “Tories”. He said he was delighted, until he realised they meant “tourists” not “Tories”. He remarked that announcing he was a Tory ten years ago was the equivalent of a “death sentence” but insisted that times had changed and that the Tories were now accepted in Scotland. Indeed, he argued, defeat was no longer an option for the Conservatives, adding: “The only person recorded as saying ‘de-feat’ is marvellous is Robert Mugabe’s chiropodist.” Carlaw had come to the end of his speech, but Mr Howard had still not arrived at the Hampden Park conference suite where the manifesto launch was taking place, so Carlaw continued to make jokes (none of which drew much of a laugh from his audience) to pass the time until the Tory leader arrived.





12 June 2005: Tory who told racist jokes appointed deputy chairman of Scottish party

The Scottish Conservatives’ post-election nightmare continued last night after the party was forced to defend itself against accusations of sexism and racial insensitivity. Opposition politicians lined up to denounce the Tories for appointing Jackson Carlaw, the man who told racist jokes at the party’s recent election launch, to the post of interim deputy chairman. The Conservatives were also put on the back foot by Carlaw’s predecessor, Mars Goodman, who accused the party of being a “back- slapping boys’ club”. Carlaw was promoted after a meeting yesterday at the Conservative party headquarters in Edinburgh. The vacancy had been created by the departure of Goodman, who was forced to resign earlier this month after writing a highly critical report about the performance of chairman Peter Duncan during the general election campaign. (Sunday Herald)







28 February 2006: Close vote as Scots Tories elect new deputy chairman

Bill Walker, the 77-year-old former Tory MP, was last night elected as deputy chairman of the Scottish Conservatives – beating Jackson Carlaw, the incumbent, by just eight votes. Mr Walker, as well known for his robust right-wing views as he was for wearing the kilt in the Commons as an MP, secured 2,518 votes to Mr Carlaw’s 2,510 in a ballot of Tory party members which saw a turnout of 37 per cent. Last night a spokesman for the Tory party refused to comment on the signal Mr Walker’s election would send out for the party, which is now led in the UK by David Cameron, 39, who will speak to the Scottish conference in Perth later this week. … (The Scotsman)


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7 January 2007: Goldie under siege by Carlaw as Tory rival bids to oust party leader

Scots Tory leader Annabel Goldie is facing a determined bid to unseat her from the Parliament. In an internal vote to take place this week party members are to be asked to rank candidates for the forthcoming election,with only those at the top of the list likely to make it to Holyrood. But Goldie is now facing an aggressive campaign by fellow candidate and Thatcherite stalwart Jackson Carlaw who has issued a thinly veiled attack on the leader in his bid to beat her in the vote. In a ‘communication’ sent to party members in the West of Scotland, Carlaw declares: “Wherever I go, people say they want robust leadership and someone who will take the fight to Labour. …(Scotland on Sunday)







23 August 2010: Tory MSP Jackson Carlaw under fire over sick Gordon Brown suicide ‘joke’

Carlaw caused anger when he asked followers on micro-blogging site Twitter if the former PM was visiting Beachy Head on a charity walk, before saying: “Alas, not.” The East Sussex cliffs are a notorious suicide spot. Carlaw’s jibe came in a chat with a pal John McGlynn. McGlynn mocked Brown’s plans to take part in the walk next month for WaterAid, raising cash for fresh water in developing countries. He used the site to tweet: “Gordon Brown on a charity walk, this is only because nobody would pay to hear him speak or read his book! Such a joke.” West of Scot land MSP Carlaw replied: “Beachy Head? Alas, not.” The tweet has been deleted from Twitter but it was copied to Carlaw’s Facebook page.

Labour MSP Ken Macintosh said: “How Carlaw ever thought making these sick comments was acceptable is beyond me. He should be ashamed of himself and apologise immediately. The Tories need to think long and hard about whether he is fit to hold office.” It is not the first time Carlaw has hit trouble. In 2005, he was castigated for making racist jokes at the Tory party’s Scottish manifesto launch. (Daily Record)


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3 September 2011: Tory leadership candidate Carlaw accuses rivals of appeasing Salmond

Tory MSP Jackson Carlaw launched his campaign to lead the party in Scotland with a demand for an early referendum on independence and a suggestion that supporters of more powers for Holyrood want to “appease” nationalism.The West of Scotland MSP opened his campaign to replace Annabel Goldie with a slogan of “a strong Scotland in a Great Britain” at a launch event in Glasgow yesterday, where he criticised the policies of the retiring leader and his current rival for the leadership, Murdo Fraser. Carlaw, the Scottish Tory transport spokesman, wants an independence referendum before any further moves to hand more responsibilities to the Scottish Parliament beyond the Scotland Act, which is set to extend Holyrood’s tax-raising powers. … (The Scotsman)







15 September 2011: Tory List MSPs will be forced to stand down

Long-serving Conservative MSPs will be forced to stand down from the Scottish Parliament at the next election if they fail to win a constituency seat, under a radical plan by a leadership candidate to introduce fresh blood into the party. Jackson Carlaw told the Daily Telegraph they would only be able to serve three or four consecutive terms as list MSPs, who are elected using a complicated system of proportional representation to represent one of eight regions of Scotland.

Significantly, Carlaw said he would apply the change retrospectively, meaning a series of the party’s most high-profile figures would have to win a constituency at the next election or step aside if a three-term limit was imposed. They include Murdo Fraser, (the bookies’ favourite in the contest to succeed Annabel Goldie as Tory leader) who is serving his third full term as a Mid Scotland and Fife regional list MSP.

The change aims to address the situation whereby the same people are elected time and again, regardless of their performance, because rankings on the regional list are decided by loyal Conservative members. Carlaw, whose candidacy has not been endorsed by any Tory MSPs, argued the change would be a far more effective method of reinvigorating the party than Mr Fraser’s “superficial” plan to change its name. “I was very impressed by what David Cameron did at Westminster to refresh the party,” he said. “I would ask the (party management) board to consider term limits of MSPs being elected three times or re-elected three times consecutively on the list. “I realise that’s going to be unpopular with some, I realise it’s controversial, but I believe we have to substantially renew the face of its party, not its name. Leadership requires that you take tough decisions.”

Carlaw emphasised the new rules would apply to himself. The 52-year-old is serving his second term as a West Scotland list MSP having failed to win the Tory target seat of Eastwood in May. The changes would apply in the 2016 election and he said he would be “happy” for them to be retrospective. Only three MSPs of the 15-strong Conservative group at Holyrood have constituencies of their own, with the remainder relying on the regional list for their seats. Some have used the system to win re-election since devolution started in 1999.

List seats are allocated to parties using a formula based on the number of votes they received and taking account of the number of constituencies they hold in each region. Candidates are given seats according to a ranking decided by Tory members, but such is the loyalty of the party’s rank-and-file that they consistently choose the same people no matter how poorly they perform.

Carlaw suggested that long-serving list MSPs were being rewarded for electoral failure. “At the end of the day, if you’ve had four terms as a list MSP, that’s four times you’ve failed to win your (constituency) seat,” he said. “Nobody is entitled to sit permanently in parliament. There’s a generation of talent emerging now that I think we’ve got to do our very best to promote.” (The Telegraph)





19 October 2011: Jackson Carlaw not impressed with the leadership Qualities of Ruth Davidson

He says he has a lot of time for Murdo Fraser, “he has been “tested in battle”. But mention Ruth Davidson, (who has emerged as perhaps his main challenger for the top job) and a more venomous tone comes out.

Question: “Won’t she be a breath of fresh air; a walking, talking sign that the Tories in Scotland have changed”?

Answer: “You cannot simply say I’m the new kid on the block and therefore the world is going to come and flock to vote Scottish Conservative & Unionist – someone who has been parachuted in from absolutely nowhere, who we know nothing about, who has no political agenda that we know about, who has fought no campaigns.

Ruth Davidson’s own performance in Glasgow [at the May election] wasn’t terribly impressive. Moreover, she failed to win the list-ranking ballot in her own seat and none of the constituency chairmen in Glasgow are supporting her. The idea that you simply say because somebody is new, that is going to save the party, I’m afraid I simply don’t buy it.” (The Scotsman)


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20 August 2012: Tory cancer drug scare angers SNP

The SNP has accused the Tories of distributing “discredited and factually incorrect” leaflets that scaremonger about the lack of availability of Abiraterone, a new treatment for prostate cancer.

Kenneth Gibson MSP accused Tory health spokesman Jackson Carlaw of “astonishing arrogance” in distributing the leaflets, “despite it being nearly a week since the drug’s approval by the Scottish Medicines Consortium – and advice offered to him to withdraw the leaflet run.”

Mr Gibson said that while on a constituency walkabout yesterday morning he noticed that the Tory leaflet was still being put through doors by Royal Mail, adding that he was now taking the matter to the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body. He said “Despite it being pointed out that his leaflet is both scaremongering and inaccurate, Jackson Carlaw seemed determined to keep delivering this scaremongering nonsense, including this weekend – nearly a week after abiraterone was approved by the Scottish Medicines Consortium. The leaflet and its delivery have been paid for by the Parliament and states: “The cost of this publication has been met from parliamentary resources”.

“I am writing to the corporate body of the Scottish Parliament to complain about the Mr Carlaw’s series of errors over this leaflet and its distribution. He has had ample opportunity to withdraw his leaflet but his persistence to spread mistruths is astonishingly arrogant. Scaremongering and spreading false information is bad enough but the Tories are stooping to new lows if they think for a minute that they can push lies and then expect the taxpayer to pick up the bill.” (Morning Star)




6 July 2013: Top Scots Tory blasted for anti-depressants comments

A leading disability campaigner blasted Scottish Tory Jackson Carlaw today after he accused doctors of leaving patients “parked” on anti-depressants.The Scottish Tories’ deputy leader had called for a “concerted effort” to get people off medication – even though his own party’s welfare cuts have driven people to suicide.

Carlaw said that anti-depressants had “a place in treating some mental-health problems,” but the Scottish government had spent almost £90 million on such prescriptions since 2010. “People cannot just be parked on anti-depressants. We need solutions that will see them beat the condition and return to positive mental well-being”.

But disability rights campaigner Susan Archibald said “the Westminster coalition’s policies only worsened people’s depression. From a Conservative, when their whole welfare reform is denying people any happiness whatsoever? They seriously don’t have a clue.  Dozens of deaths have now been linked to the Con-Dems’ attack on Britain’s welfare state, making national headlines.”

In May, 53-year-old Birmingham woman Stephanie Bottrill stepped in front of a lorry after penning a note to her son explaining that she could not afford another £80 a month in rent under the bedroom tax. Ms Bottrill’s death came less than a month after father and fiancée Iain Hodge took his own life in his East Kilbride flat, having been sanctioned for 10 weeks for refusing to attend workfare placements despite having a serious blood disorder that prevented hard labour.

A Scottish government spokeswoman said that the drugs were only prescribed “in line with good clinical practice,” including ongoing supervision. (Morning Star)







28 April 2014: Former labour Strategy Director Alastair Campbell’s interview of Alex Salmond (14 March 2014) BEFORE the annexation of the Crimea

Mr Salmond expressed a view that it was a “good thing” confidence had returned to Russia and said that Mr Putin was “more effective” than his portrayal by the press suggested. Pressed further he went on to say “Well, obviously, I don’t approve of a range of Russian actions, but I think Putin’s more effective than the press he gets I would have thought, and you can see why he carries support in Russia”.

Asked if he admired the Russian leader, he said: “Certain aspects. He’s restored a substantial part of Russian pride and that must be a good thing. There are aspects of Russian constitutionality and the inter-mesh with business and politics that are obviously difficult to admire. Russians are fantastic people, incidentally, they are lovely people.” The remarks were made on MARCH 14 (as Mr Putin faced widespread condemnation from the international community with Russian and Ukrainian troops squaring off in Crimea).

The usual suspects labelled the remarks “insensitive and ill-judged” and said the First Minister’s admiration for a man with such a “controversial” record on human rights did not reflect well on Scotland. Carlaw, Scottish Conservative deputy leader, said: “his views make a mockery of the Scottish Government’s faux outrage over the Crimea situation”. (The Telegraph)

But on the same day this surfaced

28 April 2014: Official Russian news agency Itar-Tass reported that David Cameron’s office wants support on the Scottish independence referendum from Putin’s government

Itar-Tass, citing a source in the Conservative Prime Minister’s office, said Britain was “extremely interested” in referendum support from Russia, which this year holds the presidency of the influential G8 group of rich industrial nations. The state-owned agency (acknowledged as the Kremlin’s official mouthpiece before and after the end of Communism) said the Cameron aide had warned Scottish independence could “send shock waves across the whole of Europe”. The report sparked criticism last night from Alex Salmond. He said: “This report from Russia raises serious questions about the UK Government’s underhand tactics. If this is accurate, then Westminster has been caught red-handed trying to stir up hostility to Scotland instead of representing Scotland’s interests – it seems the No Campaign’s self-named ‘Project Fear’ has now gone global.” Jackson Carlaw (evidently ashamed of his government’s dialogue with Mr Putin, said nothing) (http://archive.is/1vRJJ)







2 December 2016: Tory MP Jackson Carlaw on the wrong track with attack on Yousaf’s train use

Scottish Tory deputy leader & Eastwood MSP Carlaw’s attack on Humza Yousaf hit the buffers yesterday after he wrongly said the Transport Minister hadn’t boarded a Scot Rail carriage since MSPs returned after the Holyrood election. caught the train since May 2016. Carlaw said: “Commuters will be furious that the train network is deemed good enough for them, but not seemingly good enough for the man in charge.”

However, the Tories were looking at the wrong expenses.

The SNP said the Transport Minister’s commute was covered by the Scottish Government rather than the Parliament, and that he had taken the train just about every week. Carlaw had accused Yousaf of having “never set foot on a train” apart from for publicity pictures.

SNP MSP James Dornan pointed out that the latest expenses release showed that Carlaw himself had only made five train journeys and mostly used his car. He said: “The Tories are on the wrong track with this ridiculous claim. Humza takes the train most weeks to commute between Glasgow and Edinburgh in his ministerial role and it would be wrong for him to bill his parliamentary expenses for ministerial travel.

In contrast Carlaw has made only five train journeys since May, far fewer than Mr Yousaf took in his first two months as Transport Minister. The Tories’ efforts to personally attack the Transport Minister instead of contributing to improving our train service have well and truly hit the buffers.” (The National)


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One thought on “Jackson Carlaw – Tory Party in Scotland – Deputy leader (Ruth Davidson’s Third Choice) – A Long History of Despair and Failure Yet He Pontificates in Holyrood at the Taxpayer’s Expense

  1. The genetic progress in this Tory Party at Holyrood is one of brutal capitalism at the expense of decent, ordinary Scots who are being exposed to the reappearance of English and Empirical dominance emanating from Number 10. The Tories have never ruled in Scotland for generations and their only hope of survival in Scotland is to bend the knee to their overlords in London. As each one is discarded either by the voters or their own unpopularity, they are given a privileged sinecure in the “last bastion of the rascals”, the House of Lords or pinned with an Empire Medal, a free ticket to a Royal Garden Party.


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