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James (Jim) Wallace


(Lord Wallace of Tankerness)

1954 -

Jim Wallace
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

Jim Wallace

Politician. Born at Annan (Dumfries and Galloway) and educated at Annan Academy, Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities, where he studied law. Wallace was called to the Bar and practised as an advocate. He was appointed a Queen's Counsel (QC) in 1997. Having joined the Liberal Party in 1972, he went on to take a leading role in its Scottish organisation.

In 1983, Wallace was elected as Member of Parliament for Orkney and Shetland, succeeding former Liberal Leader, Jo Grimond (1913-93). As a politician, Wallace's interests have included Scottish affairs, fisheries and energy. Following the merger of the Liberal and Social Democrats in 1988, Wallace was appointed Chief Whip of the new party. In 1992, he was elected Leader of the Scottish party. He was a member of the Scottish Constitutional Convention, which lobbied for a Scottish Parliament and took a leading role in the 1997 referendum that gave it life. In 1999, he was elected to the new Scottish Parliament, representing Orkney, and was appointed Deputy First Minister and Minister for Justice in the Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition government. He stepped down from his ministerial appointments in 2005 but remained an MSP until 2007. He was then raised to the Peerage as Lord Wallace of Tankerness. He sat on the Calman Commission on the future of Scottish Devolution in 2008 and was appointed Advocate General for Scotland in 2010 under the Cameron Coalition administration.


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