John Nicolson

Member of Parliament for Ochil and South Perthshire

Scottish National Party


John Nicolson is no stranger to the House of Commons. Before he was elected as the SNP MP for Ochil and South Perthshire at the 2019 general election, Nicolson represented East Dunbartonshire from 2015 to 2017. When he was first elected, he was notable for having unseated Jo Swinson, who was then a Lib Dem junior minister in the Coalition government, but was defeated by her at the general election two years later. He opted not to contest East Dunbartonshire again in 2019, moving to Ochil and South Perthshire, although during the campaign, he made the unfortunate blunder of calling on voters to vote for him “here in East Dunbartonshire” while at a hustings in his new constituency. He was nevertheless elected with a majority of 4,498, unseating the incumbent Conservative MP Luke Graham. Before entering politics, Nicolson was a broadcast journalist, working as a reporter on several BBC programmes, including On the Record, Panorama, Newsnight and BBC Breakfast and as news presenter for the BBC and ITV. In his previous stint in parliament, Nicolson was a prominent member of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee and appeared regularly on the BBC’s late night political programme This Week. An affable politician with friends across the House, Nicolson has said his main political ambition is to secure Scottish independence and return the country to the EU.

Hot Seat

Are there any ways you would like to see Parliament?

Our Parliament is at Holyrood.

What was the catalyst for you deciding to enter politics?

Scotland’s independence referendum.

What book or poem has influenced your choice of career?

As a child, my dad read to me nightly at bedtime. Orwell, Steinbeck, Dickens and Robert Louis Stevenson which taught me to care about fairness, equality, and justice.

Financial Interests

Official parliamentary photograph taken by Chris McAndrew, 2017, licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0