|SNP Shadow Leader of the House of Commons|
|Assumed office |
1 February 2021
|Preceded by||Tommy Sheppard|
20 May 2015 – 7 January 2020
|Leader||Angus Robertson |
|Preceded by||Office established|
|Succeeded by||Tommy Sheppard|
|SNP Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office|
7 January 2020 – 1 February 2021
|Preceded by||Tommy Sheppard|
|Succeeded by||Stewart Hosie|
|Member of Parliament |
for Perth and North Perthshire
Tayside North (2001–2005)
|Assumed office |
7 June 2001
|Preceded by||John Swinney|
|Chair of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee|
|Assumed office |
19 June 2015
|Preceded by||Ian Davidson|
|Born||9 March 1962|
Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland
|Political party||Scottish National Party|
|Alma mater||Moray House College of Education|
|Profession||Musician; community worker|
|Associated acts||Big Country|
Peter Wishart (born 9 March 1962) is a Scottish National Party politician and rock/folk musician who has served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Perth and North Perthshire since 2005. Wishart previously served as the MP for North Tayside from 2001 until the seat was abolished for the 2005 general election.
Wishart is currently the SNP Shadow Leader of the House in the House of Commons and the chair of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee. He has previously served as the SNP's Westminster Spokesperson for the Constitution and for Culture and Sport and Chief Whip. He is also a former keyboard player of the Scottish Celtic rock bands Runrig and Big Country.
He is the longest-serving Scottish National Party MP, having served since 2001.
Born in Dunfermline in 1962, Wishart was educated at Queen Anne High School Dunfermline and Moray House College, Edinburgh. Wishart lives in Perth and has one son and enjoys walking in the Perthshire hills. Wishart is a trained community worker and has been a director of the Fast Forward charity that promotes healthy lifestyles for young people. He was a member of the Scotland Against Drugs Campaign Committee and has contributed to many national forums looking at the problem of drugs within Scottish society.
Pete Wishart's first major band was Big Country which he joined in the early 1980s, along with his brother Alan. He initially joined during a period when Big Country were a support act for Alice Cooper's tour. The main force behind Big Country was Stuart Adamson, himself from near Dunfermline. Adamson claimed that the early Big Country were thrown off the Alice Cooper tour for "being too weird".
After the departure of Richard Cherns in February 1986, Wishart joined Runrig. Wishart was a performer on seven of Runrig's studio albums, from The Cutter and the Clan (1987), to his last The Stamping Ground (2001). He also appears on several of Runrig's live albums. Wishart's tenure in the band coincided with their sign-up to the Chrysalis Records label, and their most successfully commercial period in the late eighties and early nineties. Wishart was not the only politically minded member of the band - former lead singer Donnie Munro became a Labour Party candidate.
House of Commons
He was first elected to the House of Commons at the 2001 general election, taking John Swinney's old seat of Tayside North. Since arriving at Westminster, he has served as the SNP's Chief Whip, in which role he has pressed the government for greater parliamentary rights, such as better representation on committees, for both the SNP and other minor political parties. He has also campaigned for copyright term extension and is a vice-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Intellectual Property Group.
In the light of the reduction in the number of Scottish MPs at Westminster, Wishart's former constituency was abolished in a radical boundary revision, and at the 2005 general election; he won the new constituency of Perth and North Perthshire for the SNP with a majority of 1,521 over Douglas Taylor of the Conservatives. The Perth and North Perthshire constituency was created after boundary changes in Scotland and takes in East and Highland Perthshire, the City of Perth and the Carse of Gowrie. Wishart sat on the Scottish Affairs Select Committee.
In August 2014 Wishart confidently predicted that Alex Salmond would beat Alistair Darling in a televised debate about Scottish independence, telling journalists that "the slaughter will be worse than the Bannockburn re-enactment”. Salmond quizzed Darling, among other things, about alien invasion, while Darling questioned him about what currency an independent Scotland would use. An exit poll suggested most viewers thought Darling had won the debate and journalists panned Salmond's performance.
Politically, he is well known for campaigning to demolish Perth's listed City Hall, dating from 1911, and replace it with an open square. He has described the building as "unused, unloved and increasingly unwelcome", "a building whose time has passed", and said that, "A city square will allow us to attract visitors, grow our café quarter, put on outdoor events and properly organise civic and community events. Every city needs civic space and we must ensure that we will soon have ours."
Following the 2015 general election, it was announced in June 2015 that he would chair the Scottish Affairs Select Committee, with his appointment formally announced on 19 June 2015. At the snap 2017 general election, he retained his seat by a very marginal majority, beating Conservative Ian Duncan by just 21 votes. The Daily Telegraph described Wishart's win as "a rare bright moment for the Nationalists" in an election that saw the SNP vote plummet and pro-Union parties gain 21 seats.
Wishart said publicly in September 2017 that because voters were “weary of constitutional change” there should be no second referendum on Scottish independence for that parliament, but that the SNP should seek a mandate for a new one in the 2021 Scottish parliament election. In October 2017, Wishart told an Institute of Economic Affairs conference that federalism for the UK should be welcomed "as part of that conversation" in Scotland, although he stressed federalism would not see Scotland "equal to some region of England".
In January 2018, Wishart drew media attention for holding up a placard which read "nul points" in the House of Commons, after having asked Prime Minister Theresa May how she would rate her government's handling of Brexit from one to ten. After May had answered, Wishart received a warning by Speaker of the House John Bercow for the stunt.
In February 2018, he warned that the SNP risked alienating Scottish voters who had voted "Leave" in the 2016 referendum on European Union membership. In an article for The National, he wrote that his party had to "face up" to the reality that Scotland would be leaving the European Union, and made the case for an alternative vision of Scottish independence which involved a "graduated" re-entry to the European Union from "EEA, then EFTA then full EU membership", stressing that the final step of rejoining the EU should only be done with the "full consent of an independent Scottish Parliament". Later in February, he ruled himself out of the 2018 Scottish Depute Leadership election following the resignation of Angus Robertson. Wishart concluded that he did not have "sufficient support" to run for the Depute Leadership of the Scottish National Party.
In 2020 opinion polls suggested that independence commanded majority support in Scotland. Wishart informed the House of Commons and tweeted numerous times that independence was the "settled will" of the Scottish people. However, in 2021 polling suggested most Scots supported staying in the Union, with one poll putting support for independence as low as 39%.
In 2014 Wishart and most of his SNP colleagues missed a vote on repealing the bedroom tax, despite the SNP making opposition to the policy a central part of its campaign for a yes vote in that year's independence referendum. Wishart apologised and said a 20 minute delay in his flight had caused him to miss the vote. Labour said: “Far from standing up for Scotland, the SNP have stayed at home and let Scotland down.”
In December 2014 he labelled No voters "Nawbags", a characterisation he later said he regretted, admitting he sometimes got things "disastrously wrong" on social media.
In 2016 he was condemned after tweeting that supporters of Tony Blair were "now like an embarrassing incontinent old relative who you might go and visit occasionally.” Labour MSP Neil Findlay said the remark was "totally unacceptable for an elected MP to mock elderly people in care homes or patients suffering the misery of incontinence" and Wishart deleted the tweet.
Also in 2016 Wishart made international news after JK Rowling questioned his conduct on social media. When STV's Digital Politics and Comment Editor, Stephen Daisley, tweeted, "In England, people tweet journalists demanding they hold government to account. In Scotland, people tweet journalists demanding they don’t”, Wishart queried the remark in a tweet to STV and Rowling tweeted him in reply, "Is trying to intimidate journalists you dislike a Scottish National Party policy or a personal vendetta?" Daisley later stopped writing opinion pieces for STV after, alleging that complaints from Wishart and John Nicolson, another SNP MP, had frightened executives at the channel. The pair was accused of "gagging" him. However, the SNP denied this was the case: “At no point did they ask for Mr Daisley to stop writing and any suggestion otherwise is completely untrue. Any editorial decisions are entirely a matter for STV.” Daisley subsequently resigned, saying he felt unsupported by bosses and labelled Wishart and Nicolson "figureheads of the anti-journalism wing of the SNP, a faction which has come to define the party’s attitudes to scrutiny and accountability."
In 2017 he tweeted a picture of a mock ballot paper that described pro-union candidates as "wank", "wanker", and "absolute total wanks". The Scottish Conservatives said the tweet was "staggering" and called for the SNP whip to be removed from Wishart.
Singles and EPs
- Kingfishers Catch Fire
- "Radio Kampala" EP: on "Bella"/"Battle Scars" tracks, 12" vinyl EP, 1986 Furry/Rough Trade "Bella"/"Battle Scars", 12" vinyl EP, 1986 Furry/Rough Trade
- Alba / Worker for the Wind (1987), Chrysalis Records
- Protect and Survive (1988), Chrysalis Records
- "News from Heaven" (1989), Chrysalis Records
- "Every River" (1989), Chrysalis Records
- "Wonderful"(1993), Chrysalis Records
- "The Greatest Flame" (1993), Chrysalis Records
- "This Time of Year" (1994), Chrysalis Records
- "An Ubhal as Àirde" (1995, Released following use of track in TV advert for Carlsberg lager), Chrysalis Records
- "Things That Are" (1995), Chrysalis Records
- "Rhythm of My Heart" (1996, Cover of Rod Stewart song), Chrysalis Records
- "The Greatest Flame (1996 Remix)", Chrysalis Records
- "The Message" (1999), Chrysalis Records
- "Maymorning" (1999), Chrysalis Records
- "This Is Not a Love Song" (1999), Chrysalis Records
- "Book of Golden Stories" (2001), Chrysalis Records
- "Loch Lomond (Hampden Remix)" (2007, with Tartan Army), Chrysalis Records
- You Can't Always Get What You Want (2016) Chrysalis Records (track released under the artist title 'The Friends of Jo Cox' and features MP4 with other artists)
- "Capture the Heart EP" (1990), Chrysalis Records
- "Hearthammer EP" (1991), Chrysalis Records
- "Flower of the West EP" (1991), Chrysalis Records
|Year||Album||Peak chart positions||Certification||Notes|
|1987||The Cutter and the Clan||45||—||—||Original 1987 release on Ridge Records; re-released on Chrysalis 1988|
|1991||The Big Wheel||4||—||—||
|1999||In Search of Angels||29||—||26|
|2001||The Stamping Ground||64||33||20|
- House Music EP (2005) Busy Bee Records
- Cross Party (2010) Revolver Records
- MP4 - EP5 (2018) Revolver Records
|1988||Once in a Lifetime||61||—||—|
|2000||Live at Celtic Connections 2000||168||—||48|
Note: This table shows commercial live releases. Other live audio material has been released in the "Access All Areas" series for the official Runrig Fan Club.
- Big Country
- And in the Beginning 
- Alba - The Best of Runrig
- Long Distance – The Best of Runrig'
- The Gaelic Collection (1998)
- Beat The Drum (1998)
- 30 Year Journey – The Best (2005)
- 50 Great Songs
- Stepping Down The Glory Road - The Chrysalis Years
- Bussey, Katrine (20 February 2018). "Wishart steps aside in SNP depute leadership contest". The Times. London. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
- "Analysis: SNP bucks trend for privately educated MPs". David Leask. The Herald. 1 June 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
- "Music preview: Big Country's Bruce Watson prepares to celebrate 35 years of the band's iconic debut album The Crossing at Celtic Connections". Scotsman.com.
- "Big Country | Stuart Adamson". Stuart-adamson.co.uk.
- "Kingfishers Catch Fire". Runrig.rocks. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
- "Big Country | Stuart Adamson". Stuart-adamson.co.uk.
- "Stuart Adamson Quotes on Big Country Songs…. | Stuart Adamson". Stuart-adamson.co.uk.
- "MP wants Scottish referees to declare club allegiance". BBC Sport. 16 November 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2010.
- "Scottish independence: SNP confident ahead of 'charismatic' Alex". The Independent. 4 August 2014.
- "Sketch: Gremlins in the TV and aliens on the attack". www.telegraph.co.uk.
- "Scottish independence: Salmond scores victory over Darling in fractious debate". the Guardian. 25 August 2014.
- "Alex Salmond takes a pounding in Scottish independence clash". Belfasttelegraph – via www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk.
- Hennessy, Mark. "Analysis: Salmond struggles badly during debate". The Irish Times.
- Sheridan, Craig (16 January 2015). "Pete Wishart: The Gold-Plated Red Upholstered Narnia". Scottish Statesman. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- Wishart, Pete. "Blog post". Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- Burdge, Richars. "MP brands Perth City Hall move 'futile'". The Courier. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- "SNP reveal Commons committee chairs". BBC News. 10 June 2015.
- "Winning candidates for select committee Chairs announced". UK Parliament. 18 June 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
- "SNP's Pete Wishart holds Perth seat - by just 21 votes!". Evening Telegraph. 9 June 2017 – via www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk.
- Mackay, Mark. "Pete Wishart retains seat by narrow margin after fighting off Tory onslaught".
- Henderson, Barney; Johnson, Simon (8 June 2017). "Scotland election results: Alex Salmond defeated and SNP suffer huge losses as Tory chances boosted north of the border". The Telegraph – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
- "Westminster 'should be tourist attraction', MP says". STV News. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
- Gordon, Tom (26 September 2017). "No second referendum in this parliament, says veteran SNP MP". The Herald. Glasgow. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
- McNab, Scott (14 April 2017). "Pete Wishart under fire for 'foul-mouthed' Twitter post". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
- Kidd, Patrick (11 January 2018). "The stench of decay hangs over a tired Brexit stunt". The Times. London. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
- "MP Wishart in hot water for giving May 'nul points' on Brexit". The National. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
- Deacon, Michael (2018). "It's easy to make fun of Theresa May. But somehow the SNP made a mess of it". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
- "Theresa May was asked to rate how well Brexit is going on a scale of 1-10". Metro. 10 January 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
- "Theresa May says 'Government is doing well' on Brexit". www.scotsman.com. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
- "SNP must face the reality that Scotland is leaving the EU". iNews. 9 February 2018. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
- "We need a new vision for independence – with a gradual rejoining of the EU". The National. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
- "Pete Wishart will not be standing to be next SNP depute leader". The National. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
- "Pete Wishart MP rules himself out of SNP deputy leadership race". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
- "Scottish independence boosted by Gove's 'Trumpian' opposition, claims SNP MP". Belfasttelegraph – via www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk.
- "Tweet". twitter.com. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
- Editor, Kieran Andrews, Scottish Political. "Six-point lead for the Union as support for independence falls" – via www.thetimes.co.uk.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- "SNP slammed over MPs no-show at bedroom tax vote". www.scotsman.com.
- "Pete Wishart admits to Twitter 'disasters' but says criticism 'too harsh'". HeraldScotland.
- Watson, Jeremy. "SNP MP mocks elderly in tweet" – via www.thetimes.co.uk.
- https://eu.usatoday.com/story/life/nation-now/2016/06/01/jk-rowling-gets-into-twitter-fight-freedom-speech-pete-wishart/85256540/[bare URL]
- https://www.pressgazette.co.uk/snp-slammed-by-former-stv-journalist-i-learned-the-hard-way-that-journalism-and-nationalism-do-not-mix/3/?page=5[bare URL]
- https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15029547.journalist-snp-gagging-row-stephen-daisley-quits-stv/[bare URL]
- https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/snp-called-bullies-stv-journalist-stephen-daisley_uk_57b6f4e4e4b042aee74b4554[bare URL]
- https://www.pressgazette.co.uk/stv-political-editor-stephen-daisley-resigns-after-scottish-politicians-complaints-to-media-company[bare URL]
- https://stephendaisley.com/2017/02/04/snp-tried-to-silence-me-and-their-freedom-to-bully-vilify-and-malign-is-a-chilling-glimpse-of-one-party-scotland/[bare URL]
- "Pete Wishart under fire for 'foul-mouthed' Twitter post". The Scotsman. 14 April 2017. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
- "RUNRIG | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com.
- For all albums except The Best of Runrig: Long Distance: "Runrig discography". danishcharts.dk. Hung Medien. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
- For The Best of Runrig: Long Distance: "Listen - Danmarks Officielle Hitliste - Udarbejdet af AIM Nielsen for IFPI Danmark - Uge 4". Ekstra Bladet (in Danish). Copenhagen. 26 January 1997.
- [dead link]
- "British certifications – Runrig". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 16 December 2017. Type Runrig in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
- "Big Country". Runrig.rocks. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pete Wishart.|
- Constituency website
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 1803–2005
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Pete Wishart on Twitter
- SNP profile
- SNP Westminster Group
- BBC News Democracy Live
- STV News Profile
- Guardian profile
- Telegraph profile[dead link]