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John McFall, Baron McFall of Alcluith
John McFall, Baron McFall of Alcluith

John Francis McFall, Baron McFall of Alcluith PC (born 4 October 1944) is a British politician, who currently serves as the Senior Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords. He was previously a Labour Co-operative Member of Parliament from 1987 to 2010, first for Dumbarton and then from 2005 for West Dunbartonshire. He also served as Chairman of the House of Commons Treasury Committee.

Early life

McFall went to a boys' school, St Patrick's Secondary School (since merged with Notre Dame High School to form Our Lady & St Patrick's High School), on Hawthornhill Road in Castlehill, Dumbarton, leaving without any qualifications at 15. His father was a school caretaker and his mother had a newsagents shop, which sparked his (later) interest in how to run businesses. He worked for the local Parks Department in Dumbarton and then in a factory.

At the age of 24, he studied at Paisley College of Technology (now the University of the West of Scotland) receiving a BSc in Chemistry. In 1977, he wanted to widen his knowledge away from science and obtained a BA from the Open University in Education and Philosophy. He was a chemistry and maths teacher from 1974–87 in Dumbarton, Kirkintilloch and Glasgow, becoming a deputy-head in Glasgow and Secretary of his Constituency Labour Party before he entered Parliament. Whilst a teacher he completed a part-time course over three years at the University of Strathclyde for an MBA. In 1994, he became a Visiting Professor at Strathclyde University Business School, and now is a member of the Strategic Advisory Board at the University of Glasgow Business School. He is a member of the GMB Union.

Political career

He was first elected for the Dumbarton constituency, Scotland, at the 1987 general election, after the previous MP, Ian Campbell retired. His original majority was a little over 2,000. Dumbarton constituency was replaced with the new West Dunbartonshire constituency for the 2005 general election, which McFall won with a majority over 12,500.

He was a whip and junior minister (for Education, Training and Employment, Health and Community Relations, then in 1999 for Economy and Education) at the Northern Ireland Office from 1998–99.

In 2001 he was appointed Chair of the Treasury Select Committee, and reappointed for a second term in this position in 2005. The committee conducted inquiries into the banking crisis, producing evidence of the bonus culture, the lack of banking qualifications among many top bankers and poor oversight of the industry by the Financial Services Authority.

On 29 January 2010, McFall announced his intention to stand down as an MP at the 2010 general election.[1]

On 17 June 2010, he was created a life peer as Baron McFall of Alcluith, of Dumbarton in the County of Dunbartonshire,[2] and was introduced in the House of Peers on 6 July 2010.[3]

He is currently the Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Overseas Development (Apgood).[4]

In July 2016, he was appointed as Chairman of Committees of the House of Lords with effect from 1 September 2016. He is known as Senior Deputy Speaker while holding the office.[5]


He is Chair of the Scotch Whisky and Spirits All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) and of the Royal Navy APPG.

He is Chairman of Strathleven Regeneration Company and of Clydebank re-built, two development companies based in his constituency.

He gave his backing to Dumpster Kids, a not-for-profit organisation aimed at rescuing abandoned children, in January 2011.

Personal life

He is married to Joan, a teacher from Dumbarton, with four children. He has run marathons, although not in the last ten years.


  • Workplace Retirement Income Commission, Building a Strong, Stable and Transparent Pension System: Final Report (August 2011 [34] )

See also

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