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Jim Wallace


Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, and MP for Orkney and Shetland.

Within the Liberal Democrat's federal structure, Jim Wallace is leader of the largely autonomous Scottish party. Throughout the devolution machinations, he has had to use his qualities of patience and determination - most notably when Labour unilaterally announced plans for a referendum and, earlier, when senior figures within the Liberal Democrats voiced concern that their party was suffering electorally from its association in the public mind with Labour through the cross-party convention.

Wallace was born in Annan in 1954 and was educated at Annan Academy, Cambridge University and Edinburgh University. He was called to the Scottish Bar in 1979, unsuccessfully contesting his local parliamentary seat of Dumfriesshire and the European Parliament seat of South Scotland that same year. In 1983 he took over the seat of Orkney and Shetland, which had been held by the Liberal leader Jo Grimond, and successfully defended it. He became the Liberal Deputy Whip in 1985 before graduating to Chief Whip two years later. Wallace has been leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats since 1992.

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