Aileen McLeod

Aileen McLeod
Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform
In office
21 November 2014  18 May 2016
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Preceded by Paul Wheelhouse
Succeeded by Roseanna Cunningham (as Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform)
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for South Scotland
In office
5 May 2011  23 March 2016
Personal details
Born (1971-08-24) 24 August 1971
East Kilbride, Scotland
Political party Scottish National Party
Alma mater University of Edinburgh
University of Central Lancashire

Dr Aileen McLeod (born 24 August 1971) is a Scottish National Party (SNP) politician. She was the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform 2014−2016 and was a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the South Scotland region 2011−2016.

Early life

McLeod was born on 24 August 1971 in East Kilbride, Scotland[1] and attended high school there. She did her undergraduate studies at the University of Edinburgh before completing her Doctorate at the University of Central Lancashire.[1][2]

Political career

McLeod joined the SNP in 2004 on leaving her restricted post in the Scottish Parliament. After spending five years living in Brussels and working as Head of Policy for Alyn Smith MEP,[1] McLeod returned home in 2009 to fight the European Parliamentary elections for the SNP. From 2009 to 2011 McLeod was Parliamentary Assistant to Michael Russell MSP.[1]

In 2011 McLeod was elected to the Scottish Parliament via the South Scotland regional list after losing in the constituency of Galloway and West Dumfries to Alex Fergusson.

On 21 November 2014, she was appointed Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, succeeding Paul Wheelhouse who was moved to another ministerial brief.[3] She attended the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.[4] She had looked at issues relating to land ownership, with some efforts made to increase transparency of this.[5]

In the Scottish Parliament election, 2016 she again stood as a candidate in the Galloway and West Dumfries constituency where she finished second behind Finlay Carson (who had a majority of 1,514 votes) and was not returned to the Parliament as a result. She was succeeded as Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform by Roseanna Cunningham.

Personal life

She lives in Lanark with her partner.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Personal Information". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  2. Davidson, Lorraine (10 May 2011). "Biggest wave of new faces into Holyrood since devolution". The Times. London.
  3. "Nicola Sturgeon announces new Scottish cabinet". BBC News. BBC. 21 November 2014.
  4. Kirkaldy, Liam (3 December 2015). "Climate change and the Paris talks: Interview with Dr Aileen McLeod". Holyrood. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  5. "Aileen McLeod: Transparency of ownership and fair play are at the heart of Land Reform Bill". The National. 16 February 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
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