24 Facts About Alistair Carmichael


Alexander Morrison "Alistair" Carmichael was born on 15 July 1965 and is a Scottish politician and solicitor by trade who has served as the Member of Parliament for Orkney and Shetland since 2001.


Alistair Carmichael served as the Deputy Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats from 2012 to 2021.


Alistair Carmichael served a second term as Chief Whip from 2017 to 2020, having taken over the position from Tom Brake following the 2017 general election.


Alistair Carmichael was the Liberal Democrat Spokesman for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Exiting the European Union from January 2020 to August 2020.


Alistair Carmichael was the only Scottish MP representing the Liberal Democrats in the House of Commons during the 57th Parliament.


Alistair Carmichael is the longest-serving Liberal Democrat MP in the current UK Parliament.


Alistair Carmichael was born to hill farming parents on Islay in the Inner Hebrides, and went on to attend Port Ellen Primary School and Islay High School.


Alistair Carmichael worked between 1984 and 1989 as a hotel manager after 2 years of study at the University of Glasgow.


Alistair Carmichael returned to education at the University of Aberdeen, where he gained an LLB in 1992, qualifying as a solicitor in 1993.


Alistair Carmichael first stood for Parliament at Paisley South in 1987, being defeated by the sitting Labour MP, Norman Buchan.


Alistair Carmichael was later elected to represent Orkney and Shetland at the 2001 general election, the constituency previously held by Jim Wallace and Jo Grimond.


Alistair Carmichael was appointed Liberal Democrat Northern Ireland and Scotland Spokesman by Sir Menzies Campbell in July 2007, but resigned in March 2008 to vote in favour of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.


Alistair Carmichael was reappointed to the position by Nick Clegg in October 2008.


Alistair Carmichael had briefly served as the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesman, following the resignation of Mark Oaten.


In June 2009, Alistair Carmichael was involved in a successful campaign against the book by Max Scratchmann, Chucking it All: How Downsizing to a Windswept Scottish Island Did Absolutely Nothing to Improve My Life, an irreverent account of the author's experience downshifting from Manchester to Orkney, which Alistair Carmichael said was "hurtful and vindictive", and attacked a number of "clearly identifiable" residents of the islands.


At the beginning of the Liberal Democrat - Conservative coalition government in May 2010, Alistair Carmichael was appointed Deputy Chief Whip and Comptroller of the Household.


In 2011, Alistair Carmichael was elected Honorary President of the Scottish Liberal Democrats youth wing, Liberal Youth Scotland.


Alistair Carmichael took over from Jo Swinson as Deputy Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats on 23 September 2012 at the Annual Liberal Democrat Conference in Brighton.


Alistair Carmichael retained his seat at the 2015 general election, the only Liberal Democrat in Scotland out of 11 MPs elected in 2010 who managed to do so.


The Liberal Democrats lost the majority of their seats in the rest of the UK, and Alistair Carmichael was one of only eight Liberal Democrat MPs returned to Parliament.


On 4 April 2015, during the general election campaign Alistair Carmichael was involved in the leaking of a memo from the Scotland Office about comments allegedly made by the French ambassador Sylvie Bermann about Nicola Sturgeon, claiming that Sturgeon had privately stated she would "rather see David Cameron remain as PM", in contrast to her publicly stated opposition to a Conservative government.


At the time of the leak, Alistair Carmichael denied all knowledge of the leaking of the memo in a television interview with Channel 4 News.


Alistair Carmichael apologised and accepted that had he still been a government minister, this was a matter that would have "required [his] resignation".


On 2 June 2015, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner launched an investigation into his conduct, under sections 10,14 and 16 of the Code of Conduct, but this investigation was dropped because Alistair Carmichael became aware of the memo via the Scottish Office and not in his capacity as an MP.