Reform Scotland

Reform Scotland announces raft of changes in key positions

Alan McFarlane becomes Chairman, with new multi-party additions to Advisory Board

Reform Scotland, the independent think tank, has announced a series of changes to key personnel.

As previously announced, the think tank’s founder, Ben Thomson, has stepped down as Chairman. He will be replaced by Alan McFarlane with immediate effect. Alan is the founding partner of Dundas Partners LLP, an Edinburgh-based investment management business.

In addition, the following people have joined the Reform Scotland Advisory Board:

  • Siobhan Mathers, a former Policy Convenor of the Scottish Liberal Democrats
  • Paul McLennan, an SNP Councillor, and former Leader, on East Lothian Council
  • Steve Thomson, a Highlands & Islands Enterprise board member
  • Tom Harris, a former Labour MP and Transport Minister in the UK Government

Reform Scotland expects to make a further announcement about more additions to the advisory board in the coming months.

Commenting on the changes, Reform Scotland’s new Chairman Alan McFarlane said:

“Reform Scotland has had seven successful years under the stewardship of our founder Ben Thomson. He has played a huge part in ensuring that Reform Scotland is respected and admired across the political spectrum.

“His work on issues around the financial responsibility of the Scottish Parliament, including the Devo Plus campaign, has been ground-breaking and has changed the terms of debate in Scotland. I thank him for his work.

“This series of major announcements represents a re-charging of Reform Scotland. We will be embarking on a series of ambitious reports in the lead-up to the Scottish Parliament elections of 2016, which will outline how Scotland can reform the way it creates wealth and provides public services.”

  • Alan McFarlane is the founding partner of Dundas Partners LLP, an Edinburgh based investment management business. He is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh with an MA in Politics and Modern History.
  • Tom Harris is director and founder of Third Avenue Communications. He was a Labour MP from 2001-2015, and was the longest-serving railways minister in the last Labour government.
  • Siobhan Mathers runs Cluaran, a public policy and communications consultancy, having previously been involved in politics at Brussels, London and Edinburgh levels. She is a former Policy Convenor of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.
  • Paul McLennan is an SNP Councillor and former Leader of East Lothian Council. He formerly worked for Bank of Scotland and was a member of Reform Scotland’s Commission on School Reform.
  • Steve Thomson is a former investment banker who has since worked in the aviation industry. He holds several board memberships, trustee positions and non-executive directorships, including at Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Edinburgh University Development Trust, Commsworld and Hebridean Sea Salt.