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Press release

George Reid MSP awarded honorary degree

The Right Honourable George Reid MSP has been awarded an honorary degree from Queen Margaret University , Edinburgh.

At a graduation ceremony held in the city’s Festival Theatre on 7 July, the Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer and MSP for Ochil was presented with an honorary Doctorate of the University for his tireless work to further the interests of Scotland.

Mr Reid entered the political arena in 1973, when he became a member of the Scottish National Party, believing that if Scotland was to succeed it needed its own decision making powers. Almost immediately, he became MP for Clackmannan and Stirlingshire and served five years in Westminster.

He continued his political career in 1999, when he was elected to the new Scottish Parliament, becoming Deputy Presiding Officer and, subsequently, Presiding Officer in 2003. Faced with public frustration over the delays and cost of the new parliament building, he set the goal of moving in and then moving on – engaging the people of Scotland in Holyrood, with 750,000 visitors to the building since its opening. Mr Reid also recently established the Scottish Parliament’s Futures Forum to develop strategic thinking on the issues which will shape Scotland’s future.

Mr Reid started his career in the early sixties as a print and television journalist with the BBC, Scottish Television and Granada Television, before returning to STV as Head of News and Current Affairs in 1969. He then joined the BBC in 1979.

I n 1984, he took up the post of Director of Public Affairs at the International Red Cross, Geneva. Over the succeeding twelve years, he served in some of the world’s most deprived and war-torn countries including Armenia, Ethiopia, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, Sudan and South Africa. He worked tirelessly with the victims of eight wars and numerous natural disasters, saving thousands of lives, increasing the role of women in developing countries and giving ordinary people a voice in local decisions.

Mr Reid has been awarded the Pirogov Gold Medal of the USSR and the Gold Medal of the Supreme Soviet of Armenia (both for work during the 1988 Armenian earthquake) and more recently, the Scottish Politician of the Year Award in 2003 and 2005.

Speaking at the ceremony, Principal of Queen Margaret, Professor Anthony Cohen, said: “George Reid is our country’s senior parliamentarian, and has done more than perhaps any other to give our maturing parliament the dignity it deserves and requires.

“He previously had distinguished careers in the media, in the House of Commons, and then in international aid and development work. He is certainly one of the great Scots of our generation, and we are deeply proud that he has accepted our honorary degree.”


For further media information please contact Lynne Russell, Press and PR Officer, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, tel: 0131 474 0000, mob: 07711 011 239.

Notes to editors:

Queen Margaret specialises in professional education and research that informs the development of policy and practice in health, drama & creative arts, media & social science and business & enterprise. The expert knowledge developed at Queen Margaret touches people's everyday lives.



last modified 10/07/06 Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh EH21 6UU - Tel: +44 (0)131 474 0000
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