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Douglas Alexander


1967 -

Politician. Born in Glasgow, the son of a clergyman and younger brother of Wendy Alexander (b.1963), Alexander was raised in Bishopton (Renfrewshire) and educated at Park Mains High School in Erskine. He won a scholar to complete his schooling in Canada, before returning to Scotland and the University of Edinburgh, where he studied politics and then law. He had joined the Labour Party while still at school and worked for Gordon Brown (b.1951), who became his mentor. Very much in the vanguard of the 'New Labour' project, Alexander was elected Member of Parliament for Paisley South in 1997. He served in the government of Tony Blair (b.1953) as Minister of State at the Department of Trade and Industry (2001-02), Minister of State for the Cabinet Office (2002-03), Minister for the Cabinet Office (2003-04) and Minister of State for Trade (2004-05). He kept his seat in the 2005 General Election and was promoted to the Cabinet as Minister of State for Europe (2005-06), followed by the concurrent positions of Secretary of State for Transport and Secretary of State for Scotland (2006-07) and finally Secretary of State for International Development (2007-10) in the administration of Gordon Brown. Despite being Labour's chief election strategy, Alexander spectacularly lost his seat in the General Election of 2015 which decimated the Labour vote in Scotland.


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