Mike is the second oldest of six brothers and sisters. After leaving school at 16 he worked hard to gain funds to see himself through higher education, gaining a degree in teaching from the University of Durham.
With public service in mind, Mike joined the Army, graduating from The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and after his first posting with the Scottish Infantry Division served in Northern Ireland, Gibraltar and Germany.
Mike's commitment to public service led him into politics and soon after leaving the Army and he settled in Aberdeenshire with his wife Pauline and their two sons Andrew and Malcolm.
Mike’s many achievements in his first years as a Member of the Scottish Parliament were largely made in the teeth of opposition from vested interests.
He drove through free eye and dental checks for all on the NHS, voting to establish smoke free enclosed public places and was the force behind establishing free personal care for the elderly throughout Scotland.
In addition, Mike pressured the then First Minister to reform our local government voting system, he led the campaign to re-open Laurencekirk railway station, fought long and hard for a new Dental School in Aberdeen and pioneered the establishment of an Independent Commissioner to maintain the very highest levels of probity amongst our politicians in Scotland.
He took the fight to save the Aboyne Maternity Unit to the very highest levels of government and persuaded the then Health Minister to refuse Grampian Health Board’s request to close down this valuable community facility.
Now returned to the Scottish Parliament as MSP for the North East Region, Mike continues to support local campaigns.
During this Parliament Mike has been a strong critic of the Scottish Government’s handling of the rural economy, particularly regarding their mishandling of agricultural support payments and the lack of investment in broadband. Mike continues to challenge the Scottish Government over the long-term underfunding of NHS Grampian and our local services.
He has worked closely with the local campaign to deliver the A90 grade separated junction at Laurencekirk, better access to Insch Railway Station and protect Bennachie from obtrusive pylon and road works.
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