Robin Harper was the former Green MSP for Lothian. Robin’s election success in May 1999 saw him returned as Britain’s first Green Parliamentarian, and he was re-elected as MSP for the Lothians in 2003 and again in 2007. After 12 years at Holyrood he stepped down in May 2011, but he quotes Tony Benn:
I’m leaving Parliament to spend more time on politics .
Robin was born in 1940 in Thurso, Caithness, and is a graduate of both Edinburgh and Aberdeen Universities. He taught English in Kenya, then Modern Studies at Boroughmuir before entering Parliament. He took part in the 1959 Aldermaston March against nuclear weapons, and joined the Ecology Party (as the Green Party was then) in 1985, the same day the French secret service sank the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbour. He has been enthusiastically involved for what seems like every day of his life since. He has served as the Scottish Green Party’s Principal Speaker and then Co-Convenor until 2008
During his time at Holyrood Robin sat on the Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee, and supports many of the Parliament’s Cross Party Groups, particularly the CPG Renewables and Energy Efficiency, CPG Architecture, CPG Learning Disability, and the CPG Children and Young People.
Between 2000 and 2003 Robin served as Rector of Edinburgh University, and between 2005 and 2008 as Rector of Aberdeen University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and both President and a Fellow of the Royal Scottish Society for the Arts.
Robin is a patron or a member of the Board of five arts organisations: Communicado; Sounds of the Future; the Savoy Theatre; the Aberdeen University Gilbert and Sullivan Society and the Forth Children’s Theatre, and previously served on the boards of WHALE Arts and the Traverse Theatre.
He is a keen musician, playing the guitar and the trumpet. He is a moderate Munro-bagger, and has run five Edinburgh marathons as well as the Glasgow and London marathons.