Ministerial role

Secretary of State for Scotland


The main role of the Scottish Secretary is to promote and protect the devolution settlement.

Other responsibilities include promoting partnership between the UK government and the Scottish government, and relations between the 2 Parliaments.

Current role holder: The Rt Hon Alistair Carmichael MP

Alistair Carmichael is the Deputy Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats. He was appointed as Secretary of State for Scotland in October 2013. He has been the MP for Orkney and Shetland since the 2001 general election.


Alistair attended Port Ellen Primary School and Islay High School. He gained an LLB in 1992 at the University of Aberdeen, a diploma in Legal Practice in 1993 and qualified as a solicitor and Notary Public in 1995.

Political career

Alistair was elected to represent Orkney and Shetland in the 2001 general election. He was appointed Liberal Democrat Northern Ireland and Scotland Spokesman in July 2007. He was reappointed to the position by Nick Clegg in October 2008. He had also briefly served as the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesman. At the beginning of the Liberal Democrat-Conservative coalition government, Alistair was appointed Deputy Chief Whip and Comptroller of HM Household before being appointed as Secretary of State for Scotland.

Career outside politics

Alistair worked as a hotel manager from 1984 to 1989. From 1993-96, he was a Procurator Fiscal Depute working at Crown Office in Edinburgh and in the Procurator Fiscal’s Office in Aberdeen. From 1996-2001 he was a solicitor in a Private Practice working in Aberdeenshire.

Personal life

Alistair is married and has 2 sons.

Previous holders of this role

  1. The Rt Hon Michael Moore MP

    • 2010 to 2013


  1. Informing the debate on Scotland's constitutional future

    • 17 January 2014
  2. Maintaining and strengthening the Scottish devolution settlement

    • 16 October 2013


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  1. Scottish referendum: one year to go

    • 18 September 2013
    • News story
  2. Scotland’s budding entrepreneurs to benefit from extra support

    • 12 September 2013
    • News story
  3. LIBOR fines fund Scottish good cause projects

    • 12 September 2013
    • News story
  4. September Labour Market statstics for Scotland

    • 11 September 2013
    • News story
  5. Referendum Agreement signed with Scottish government

    • 10 September 2013
    • Press release
  6. Scots secretary gets a flavour of sea salt success

    • 6 September 2013
    • News story
  7. Scottish independence: Michael Moore speech on the referendum

    • 28 August 2013
    • News story
  8. A day of discovery for Scottish Secretary

    • 27 August 2013
    • News story
  9. August Labour Market Statistics for Scotland

    • 14 August 2013
    • News story
  10. Scottish Secretary speech at Fife Chambers of Commerce

    • 2 August 2013
    • Speech