Learn more about Roseanna Cunningham
Raised in Australia, she returned to Scotland and was a member of the left-wing 79 Group inside the Scottish National Party (SNP) in the early 1980s, but avoided expulsion by denying membership of its steering committee (future SNP Convenor Alex Salmond by contrast admitted his leading role and was expelled, whilst Margo MacDonald resigned from the party in protest before she could be expelled).
She first came to prominence in 1995 when she won the bitter Perth and Kinross by-election to replace the Conservative MP, Sir Nicholas Fairbairn, who had died. She had initially been left off the SNP's candidate shortlist over her brief relationship in the 1970s with Donald Bain, the former husband of SNP stalwart Margaret Ewing, on the grounds that the issue could prove an embarrassment to the party. However, she was put back in contention following an intervention by the then party leader Alex Salmond, and after Ewing made clear she had no objection to Ms Cunningham's candidature.
In 1999 she became the MSP for Perth and continues to represent the area in the Scottish Parliament to this day. In 2000 she was elected the SNP Senior Vice-Convener (deputy leader). Also in that year she helped establish the Scottish Left Review publication. She stood down as an MP in 2001, to concentrate on the Scottish Parliament.
John Swinney announced his resignation as leader of the SNP on 22 June 2004, and on the same day Roseanna Cunningham announced that she would be a candidate in the subsequent election for the party leadership. In the early stages of the campaign she appeared to be the clear front-runner, but the entirely unexpected decision of the popular former leader Alex Salmond to enter the race just before nominations closed changed everything, and Cunningham ultimately finished a distant second.
 External links
- Roseanna Cunningham MSP Biography at Scottish Parliament website
- Roseanna Cunningham MSP Biography at the SNP website
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Perth and Kinross|
|Member of Parliament for Perth|