Alex has also had the privilege of representing Dunfermline North, Townhill, Kingseat and Halbeath on the Fife Regional Council; and worked closely for many years with the former Prime Minister and Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP, Gordon Brown.
Alex was born in Dunfermline, brought up in Kelty and went to school in Dunfermline. He has three grown up children and an eight-year old granddaughter.
Alex has gained a reputation for being in touch with the communities he represents and is a strong local voice.
He has always lived in Fife, apart from being based in London while working for the TUC, and believes there is no better place to live, work and raise a family.
His interest in politics dates back to being at school as well as being heavily influenced by his parents and the Trade Union movement. He was a shop steward in his late teens. He attended Newbattle Abbey College in Dalkeith where he obtained a Certificate in Politics and Economics. He went on to study at the University of Edinburgh and gained a MA (Hons) degree in Politics and Sociology and a MSc postgraduate degree in Community Education.
After leaving university, Alex worked as the Scottish Co-ordinator for the National Local Government Forum Against Poverty. He worked for the Labour Party and then for the TUC as an Project Officer, before becoming National Officer with responsibility for the TUC education centres in England. He then moved back to Fife to become full-time agent and constituency manager for Gordon Brown MP and was re-elected to Fife Council in 2007.
In the May 2012 local council elections, he was elected on first preference votes and received a massive increase in votes in his ward since the last election, to over 1300. Labour took governance of Fife Council from an SNP-Lib Dem Coalition at the 2012 election on May 3.
In January 2014, following the sad passing of the much respected Helen Eadie MSP, Alex was elected as the Member of Scottish Parliament for the Cowdenbeath constituency after a by-election in which he increased the Labour Party’s majority to 5,488 votes or 27.35% over his nearest SNP rival.
Alex was elected as the Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party on the 15th of August 2015. In the Scottish Parliament elections 2016, Alex was re-elected as a regional MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife. Alex has stated that he is committed to working hard for his constituents and wishes to focus on fighting for social justice and tackling inequality. Building and spreading the Labour values which are so important to him has become one of his central focuses and has shaped much of his work in politics so far. Alex is a committed and hard-working MSP and a proud fifer who understands the needs of his local community and is dedicated to improving it and working with his constituents.