Born and raised in Alyth, Perthshire, where his family farmed raspberries and strawberries. Former deputy chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen's Federation and a former head of the Scottish Parliament's Office in Brussels.In 2011 took on the role of Clerk to the Parliament's European Committee and EU Advisor to the Parliament.
Scotland's most senior MEP. Elected in 1984, he has served as vice-chairman of the Socialist Group 1987-1988, vice president of the European Parliament, 1989 - 2004 and senior vice-president of the European Parliament with special responsibility for relations with national parliaments and regional assemblies such as the Scottish Parliament.
Born in Bellshill, career politician Catherine Stihler was elected in 1999 as the youngest British MEP. Educated at St Andrews University, she worked as a political researcher to Anne Begg MP (1997-1999). She was deputy leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party (EPLP) from 2004 to 2006 and before that EPLP health spokeswoman.
The former leader of Angus Council became an MEP in a 1998 by-election and sat alongside the SNP's Winnie Ewing until her election to the Scottish Parliament in 1999. He is a member of the Fisheries, Internal Market and Consumer Protection, and Transport and Tourism committees.
In 2005 he was elected SNP president.
He grew up in Scotland and Saudi Arabia, and moved to London where he qualified as a lawyer with commercial law firm Clifford Chance. Elected to the European Parliament for the first time in 2004. Honorary President of the Young Scots for Independence and a member of the SNP's National Executive Committee.