Ken Macintosh MSP was born in Inverness and educated at Portree and Oban Primary schools and then at the Royal High School, Edinburgh. He graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1984 with an MA (Hons) in History.
Before entering the Scottish Parliament in 1999, Ken was a television producer for BBC News. Ken also worked on programmes including Breakfast with Frost and as a researcher for both David and Jonathan Dimbleby.
Ken is married to Claire and the couple live in Busby with their six children.
Ken was first elected to the Scottish Parliament in 1999 to represent the constituency of Eastwood in the Southside of Glasgow. Ken held the Eastwood seat in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 Scottish Parliamentary elections. In 2016, Ken was elected to represent the West of Scotland region in Holyrood, covering ten constituencies.
In the previous Labour Scottish Government, Ken was a Ministerial Parliamentary Aide to former First Minister Jack McConnell. In 2006 Ken introduced a Member’s Bill to the Scottish Parliament proposing tougher regulation of sunbed parlours which passed successfully.
In opposition, he has served as Shadow Minister for Schools and Skills, Shadow Minister for Culture and External Affairs, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners’ Rights.
In 2011 and again in 2015, Ken ran to be the Leader of the Scottish Labour Party where he campaigned on a programme of reform for the party. During both contests, Ken championed a new style of politics for Scottish Labour, in which he argued the party should be defined by what it stood for rather than what it opposed.
At the 2016 Scottish Parliamentary election, Ken was returned as a member for the West of Scotland region before being elected as the Scottish Parliaments fifth Presiding Officer by his peers. Ken was elected with 71 votes on the third round of voting.
Upon his election as Presiding Officer, Ken said that as Presiding Officer, he would seek to work together, across the party divide, for the common good and that he favoured a more consul, conciliatory, style of politics in Scotland.