Politician, journalist and broadcaster, David Whitton, is reported to be vying to contest the vacant Westminster seat of Inverclyde following the untimely, sudden death of its MP.
According to today’s Daily Record, the former special adviser to the late First Minister, Donald Dewar, has thrown his hat into the ring to succeed David Cairns, who died last month, aged just 44, from pancreatitis.
Whitton lost his seat as a Labour MSP in the SNP’s landslide Holyrood victory, despite increasing his vote in the Strathkelvin and Bearsden constituency
Prior to the Scottish Parliament election, he was being tipped as the next leader of the Scottish Labour Party should his party suffer a bad result and leader, Iain Gray, then stood down.
Whitton began his journalistic career with DC Thomson in 1970 before moving to the Fife Free Press and then the Evening Express in Aberdeen – specialising in local government activities.
He worked for The Scotsman in Glasgow for three years before moving to the Daily Record where he became industrial editor in 1983.
From 1986-96, Whitton worked at STV in a variety of roles including producer of news and current affairs programme, Lobby correspondent at Westminster, presenter of political programming and on-screen news reporter. He was head of public affairs from 1994-96. His time at STV was followed by a short period as a director of the PR company, Media House.
Following the first Scottish Parliament elections, Whitton became special adviser to Dewar and official spokesperson for the First Minister and the Scottish Executive (now called the Scottish Government).
Eleven years ago, he established his own public affairs consultancy.
Update: He was beaten by Iain McKenzie , who has been leader of Inverclyde Council since February.