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Iain MacWhirter


One of Scotland’s most prolific and influential journalists, Iain MacWhirter is political commentator for The Herald and Sunday Herald and writes regularly for other publications in Scotland and beyond. Iain has been a prominent broadcaster for more than more two decades having presented BBC political programming in Westminster and in Scotland. He is the author of Road to Referendum which accompanied the eponymous television series – Road to Referendum – on ITV.

Iain studied politics at Edinburgh University and was researching a PhD in regionalism and nationalism when he started working for the BBC as a political researcher. He became BBC’s Scottish Political Correspondent covering the poll tax and devolution before moving to London to present BBC network political programmes including Westminster Live and Scrutiny. He also began writing political commentaries for Scotland on Sunday leading to his becoming a regular op-ed columnist for The Scotsman and The Observer.

In 1999 – with the creation of the Scottish Parliament he had long advocated – Iain Macwhirter returned to Scotland to help set up The Sunday Herald and to present the BBC’s Holyrood Live programmes which he fronted for seven years. Iain has been a regular contributor to publications as diverse as The Big Issue and Public Finance magazine and has contributed to numerous books and journals. Iain has presented programmes for Radio 4, and in recent years has been an external examiner for a post-graduate journalism course in Strathclyde University, and is on the Policy Advisory Council of the IPPR.

Iain MacWhirter was Rector of the University of Edinburgh between 2009 and 2012. As Rector he campaigned against the reintroduction of university tuition fees in Scotland, and the £7,000 minimum income guarantee subsequently introduced by the Scottish Government. Iain was a member of the Scottish Governments Review of High Education Governance, which led to the 2012 Prondzynski Report.


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