Kenneth (Kenny) MacAskill

1958 -

Politician. Born in Edinburgh and raised in Linlithgow, MacAskill was educated at Linlithgow Academy before reading law at the University of Edinburgh. He set up his own law firm in Edinburgh, while also involved with politics, regarded as being on the left-wing of the Scottish National Party. He was elected as a List Member of the Scottish Parliament for Lothian in 1999, becoming MSP for Edinburgh East and Musselburgh in 2007 and Edinburgh Eastern in 2011. He has served as Cabinet Secretary for Justice since 2007. MacAskill's name came to international prominence in 2009 following his decision to release Abdelbaset al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds, owing to his terminal cancer. This decision was widely criticised in the USA.

MacAskill has written several books, including Building a Nation - Post Devolution Nationalism in Scotland (2004), Global Scots - Voices From Afar and Wherever the Saltire Flies, co-authored with the former First Minister Henry McLeish (b. 1948), and edited Agenda for a New Scotland - Visions of Scotland 2020 (2005).

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