John is the Deputy First Minister, with responsibility for the Education and Skills
He joined the SNP in 1979 and has held a number of posts at local and national level. In 1997 he was elected MP for North Tayside and MSP in 1999, remaining a dual mandate as MSP and MP until 2001 and became the SNP’s Deputy Leader in 1998.
In 2000, John was elected SNP Leader, becoming Leader of the Opposition in the Scottish Parliament.
He stood down as SNP Leader in 2004 and became Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s European and External Relations Committee.
Born in Edinburgh in 1964, John graduated with MA Honours Politics from Edinburgh University.
John is married to television reporter Elizabeth Quigley and has two children. He lives near Blairgowrie, in his North Tayside constituency and in his leisure time, enjoys hill walking and cycling.