James Alexander Douglas-Hamilton

(Lord Selkirk of Douglas)

1942 - 2023

Lord James Douglas Hamilton MSP
©2023 Gazetteer for Scotland

Lord James Douglas Hamilton MSP

Politician. Born the second son of Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, the 14th Duke of Hamilton (1903-73), at Dungavel House (South Lanarkshire), Douglas-Hamilton was educated at Eton, Balliol College (Oxford) and the University of Edinburgh, where he studied law. He practised as an advocate and served as a councillor for the Murrayfield area of Edinburgh between 1972-4. He stood unsuccessfully as the Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Hamilton in February 1974. He was successfully elected as MP for Edinburgh West in October 1974. Douglas-Hamilton acted as a Government Whip (1979-81), Parliamentary Private Secretary to Malcolm Rifkind (b.1946) at the Foreign Office and at the Scottish Office (1984-7), Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Scottish Office (1987-95) and Minister of State at the Scottish Office (1995-7). He lost his seat to the Liberal Democratic party in the face of the Conservative melt-down in the general election of 1997.

Douglas-Hamilton inherited the Earldom of Selkirk from his uncle in 1994, but disclaimed this title to continue as a member of the House of Commons until 1997. He was elected as a List Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Lothians in 1999 and has subsequently acted as Conservative Chief Whip and Business Manager. In 1997 he returned to the House of Lords as a life peer, with the title Lord Selkirk of Douglas.

His book "The Truth about Rudolf Hess", describes his father's part in the flight of Adolf Hitler's deputy to Scotland during World War II.

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