Geoff Mawdsley

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A former lobbyist for Grayling Political Strategy in Scotland and a former Tory candidate (in the Stirling constituency) at the 2001 General Election (he lost). From April 2008, the director of the free market think tank Reform Scotland.


Personal details

Catriona Elizabeth Fairbairn (Wife) 1 son


Edinburgh Academy Edinburgh University, History/Politics (MA) 1989

Non-political career

Early career

Mawdsley was reportedly hired by Michael Forsyth in 1990 as a researcher at Central Office in Edinburgh. He then joined Forth Public Relations an Edinburgh PR firm employing other hardline/radical Tories such as Brian Monteith. He was mentioned as a candidate to become special adviser to Forsyth in 1995 (see below) but his cv published on the BBC website (see above) features the names of two old school Tories in the period (Ian Lang and Malcolm Rifkind).

Tory adviser 1995

Mr Forsyth appointed the controversial newspaper columnist, Gerald Warner, as his special adviser soon after he became Scottish Secretary in the summer and said at the time he had no plans to appoint a second. However, informed sources have told The Scotsman that the workload on Mr Warner has become so great that Mr Forsyth is to revert to having two advisers, the same number as his predecessor, Ian Lang. Other sources have confirmed that Mr Forsyth, while valuing Mr Warner for his "sharp pen" in writing speeches and articles for him, also wants someone with sensitive political antennae who can maintain close links with the party grassroots in Scotland and advise on the likely political reaction to policy initiatives. Last night three young Scottish Tories emerged as favourites in the running for the job, which is paid for by the Scottish Office and is technically a civil service post. Edinburgh councillor Geoff Mawdsley, who represents Queensferry but is not on the new unitary authority, was one name mentioned. A former researcher at the party's Edinburgh headquarters, he is said to have a good political brain.
The second name to emerge was that of Neil Donaldson, currently working as an assistant to Aberdeen South MP and Scottish Office minister Raymond Robertson. The third name being mentioned was that of Iain Stewart, currently the party's head of research in Edinburgh. He is said to be a master of policy detail and would provide the backup Mr Forsyth and Mr Warner need in terms of political facts and figures. Mr Mawdsley said: "I am not going to deny that I am interested in the job if I was offered it but I have not yet been approached." Mr Stewart commented: "I have heard that they may be looking for a second adviser. I would be de-lighted if I was offered it but I have not heard anything either way." Mr Donaldson was not available to comment.
Despite the fact that Mr Forsyth would be following a precedent set by Ian Lang, the plan to appoint a second adviser came under attack from the Labour party last night. The shadow Scottish secretary, George Robertson, said: "This is no longer a government, it is purely a propaganda machine. The Tories are drafting in more 'civil servants', not to do the work of the Government, but to do their political dirty work for them."[4]


After the 1997 election defeat Mawdsley joined GPC Scotland the lobbying firm.

Tory Candidate 2000

THE political adviser to Scottish Conservative leader David McLetchie has been chosen to fight the Stirling seat for the Conservatives at the next Westminster general election. Geoff Mawdsley, 35, was announced yesterday as the man the Tories hope will win the seat for them. The Edinburgh University-educated father-of-one is a former head of research and local government at Scottish Tory Central Office and has also been a councillor in Edinburgh. Outside of politics he has been a consultant to Marks and Spencer and Amerada Hess.[5]


  1. Scotland on Sunday July 16, 1995, Sunday A week's a long time BYLINE: Scottish Secretary Michael Forsyth Has Been All Things To All People In His First Six Days In Power. But Will He Manage To Keep Up The Charm? Kenny Farquharson And Tom Condon Chronicle His Movements SECTION: Pg. 8
  2. Candidate Geoff Mawdsley, accessed 13 April 2008;The Sunday Herald December 12, 2004 Scotland's only Tory MP: support McLetchie or face election wipe-out BYLINE: By Paul Hutcheon SECTION: Pg. 10
  3. APPC Register, Dec 2006- Feb 2007; PRCA, Public Affairs Committee PRCA members public affairs register January 07 to June 07
  4. The Scotsman October 20, 1995, Friday Scottish Secretary under fire over plan for new adviser SECTION: Pg. 6
  5. Aberdeen Press and Journal February 16, 2000 Adviser named as Tories' candidate BYLINE: By SECTION: Politics: General Election, Pg.3