|Leader of the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party|
29 August 2019
15 September 2018 - 3 May 2019
|Deputy Leader of the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party|
10 November 2011 - 3 September 2019
|Member of the Scottish Parliament |
5 May 2016
|Member of the Scottish Parliament |
for West Scotland
(1 of 7 Regional MSPs)
3 May 2007 - 5 May 2016
|Born||12 April 1959|
Newton Mearns, Scotland
|Political party||Scottish Conservative Party|
|Alma mater||Glasgow Academy|
David Jackson Carlaw (born 12 April 1959) is a Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party politician serving as Acting Leader of the Scottish Conservatives from August 2019, and previously from September 2018 to May 2019, and Member of Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Eastwood since 2016.
Carlaw was brought up in Crookfur, Newton Mearns and was educated at Glasgow Academy. He worked for 25 years as a car salesman and was joint head of FirstFord car dealership in the west of Scotland until it was placed into receivership in November 2002. He was also a director of Wylies (Automotive Services) until it went into administration in February 2003.
Carlaw joined the East Renfrewshire Conservatives in 1978. He was the Conservative candidate in the 1982 Queen's Park by-election, and in the 1983 general election in Pollok. He was Chairman of the Scottish Young Conservatives from 1984 to 1986, Chairman of Eastwood Conservatives from 1988 to 1992, and was Deputy Chairman of the Scottish Conservatives from 1992 to 1998. He was reappointed Deputy Chairman of the Scottish Conservatives in 2005.
Carlaw was unsuccessful as a candidate for Eastwood in the 2003, 2007, and 2011 Scottish Parliament elections. He was however elected on the party list under Scotland's additional member system in 2007 and 2011 representing the West of Scotland region. In 2016 he became the MSP for Eastwood after defeating the incumbent Ken Macintosh. He sits on the European and External Relations Committee of the Scottish Parliament.
In 2011, Carlaw stood as a candidate in the leadership election brought on by Annabel Goldie's resignation. During the campaign, he was hospitalised with appendicitis. Carlaw finished third behind Ruth Davidson and Murdo Fraser. He was appointed as Deputy Leader of the Scottish Conservatives by Ruth Davidson in 2011, and had been Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport for almost nine years. He was re-appointed as of 28 June 2017 as Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Europe and External Affairs.
In September 2016, he was elected Convener of the Scottish Parliament's Cross Party Group on Building Bridges with Israel, the establishment of which he pledged to help in his 2016 election campaign. In February 2017, Carlaw was appointed Deputy Convener of the Cross Party Group on End-of-life Choices.
Carlaw served as acting leader of the Scottish Conservatives while leader Ruth Davidson was on maternity leave from September 2018 until May 2019. Following her resignation in August 2019, he was appointed to serve a second term. He was the incumbent when Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the 2019 general election, in which the party lost seven of their 13 seats from 2017.
On 6 January 2020, Carlaw confirmed his candidacy for the 2020 Scottish Conservative Party leadership election and launched his campaign in Edinburgh on 15 January. He received support from key figures such as Ruth Davidson, Murdo Fraser,Adam Tomkins,Liz Smith,Annie Wells and Jamie Greene. This gave Carlaw the position of favourite over his opponent Michelle Ballantyne. He centred his campaign around how he could beat Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP in the next Scottish Parliament election and the local elections in 2022. He also promised to make the Scottish Conservatives more for the middle and working classes and continue to maintain the Scottish Conservatives as the main party of the Union.
Council Tax rates
Carlaw spoke out firmly against the SNP's changes to Council Tax in November 2016, defending his constituency with the belief that the proposed changes would effectively put over 50% of property in East Renfrewshire in the top two council tax bands. Commenting against the decision he maintained that "the rise would unfairly hit working families and the elderly" and "will hit Eastwood residents hard".
Planning (Scotland) Bill
Carlaw dismissed the initial stages of the June 2018 bill to reform local council planning by the SNP as a 'power grab'. The proposed legislation, which provisioned for the monitoring and training of local councillors in relation to planning, was argued as one which contains 'too much centralisation' and has been opposed by Carlaw in parliamentary debate, who claims the added power such a bill would give Holyrood would be "a dangerous trend to set".
Second Independence Referendum
Following attempts from the SNP to hold a second independence referendum for Scotland in March 2017, Carlaw spoke out against the attempt to 'impose a further unwanted referendum on an unwilling Scotland'. His speech, in parliament, pledged on behalf of the Scottish conservatives, that they would not allow for a second independence referendum until Brexit negotiations were complete and the Scottish public showed clear support for such a referendum. He further organised events within the constituency to reinforce this defence of the original referendum among his constituents.
Privatisation of Bonnyton House
Strongly opposing the sale and privatisation of the only public residential care home in East Renfrewshire in December 2016. Carlaw described it as a 'betrayal' to the families and residents within his constituency who relied on the care home by a council 'unwilling to properly look at any options other than privatisation.'
Parking Changes in East Renfrewshire
In a press release reacting to proposed changes to parking regulations by the Eastwood council in November 2016 , Carlaw spoke in favour of protecting local businesses from the potentially negative effects of the changes, suggesting several amendments to ensure the changes were 'substantially rethought to protect local businesses'.
Carlaw lives in Giffnock. He is married and has two sons.
| Member of the Scottish Parliament for Eastwood
|Party political offices|
| Deputy Chairman of the Scottish Conservative Party
| Deputy Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party