Alex Falconer

Alex C. Falconer (1 April 1940 – 12 August 2012) was a Labour Party politician in Scotland. He was the Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Mid Scotland & Fife from 1984 to 1999.[1]

Born in 1940, Alex Falconer left school without any formal qualifications. His first employment was as a lodge boy in the Blackness Foundry in Dundee. After being made redundant in 1958, he joined the Royal Navy, in which he served for nine years. After a short period as a labourer in the Ministry of Public Building and Works, and a year in the Health Service, as a stoker in a hospital in Dunfermline, he joined Rosyth Dockyard as a lagger in 1969.[2]

He became a shop steward in 1970, and served on many negotiating committees in the Civil Service. He joined the Labour Party in 1973, and was a Scottish Labour Party Conference delegate, on behalf of the Transport & General Workers' Union, from 1975 until he was elected as an MEP.[2] He also served as chairman of Fife Trades Council.[3]

He championed the cause of people who had contracted pleural plaque because of exposure to asbestos, having set a legal precedent when he took forward his own case.[4]

Alex Falconer was a campaigner on international development, globalisation, equality and human rights, and environmental issues and was prominent in leading a number of campaigns throughout the Margaret Thatcher years, including against the poll tax and water privatisation.[3]

In the European Parliament he supported the cause of striking miners against Margaret Thatcher's government. He foiled proposals for European secrecy laws by getting himself made rapporteur and then being unable to complete his report because the information he requested was not made available [5] He also made himself a target for neo-fascist ire, after campaigning against a visit to Edinburgh by Jean Marie Le Pen of the French National Front.[6]

He was a staunch supporter of the founding principles of the Labour Party, fighting for the retention of Labour's commitment to common ownership and redistribution, and was a founder member of the Scottish Labour grouping, Campaign for Socialism.

During his period of office he served on several European Parliamentary committees – Economic Monetary and Industrial Policy; Environmental and Public Health and Safety; Legal Affairs and Citizens Rights; Regional Policy; and External Trade and Relations.[2]

Following the announcement of his death, tributes were made by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont.[3][4][7]



European Parliament
Preceded by
John Purves
Member of the European Parliament for Mid Scotland & Fife
Constituency abolished
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