Alistair Maclean Darling, Baron Darling of Roulanish, PC, was a British politician who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2007 to 2010 under Prime Minister Gordon Brown. On November 30, 2023, a spokesperson for his family confirmed that he died in hospital after a brief battle with cancer, at the age of 70.
Who was Alistair Darling?
Alistair Maclean Darling, Baron Darling of Roulanish, PC, was a prominent British politician affiliated with the Labour Party who was born on November 28, 1953 and died in 2023. Notably, from 2007 to 2010, he served as Chancellor of the Exchequer under Prime Minister Gordon Brown. He was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1987 until his voluntary resignation in 2015, representing Edinburgh South West in his final term.
Born in London to Thomas, a civil engineer, and Anna MacLean, Alistair Darling’s lineage included notable political figures, such as his great-nephew, Sir William Darling, a Conservative/Unionist MP for Edinburgh South and former Lord Provost of Edinburgh.
His educational journey took him through Chinthurst School in Tadworth, Surrey, and Loretto School in Musselburgh, where he later attended the University of Aberdeen, earning a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree. During his university years, he distinguished himself by becoming the president of the Aberdeen University Students’ Representative Council.
When Darling joined the Labour Party in 1977 at the age of 23, he made his foray into politics. After becoming qualified as a solicitor in 1978, he turned his attention to the Scots bar and was admitted as an advocate in 1984.
When he was elected to the Lothian Regional Council in 1982, his political activism took on a more local focus. In defiance of Margaret Thatcher’s rate-capping laws, he boldly supported significant rate increases during his tenure and even considered not setting a rate at all.
Darling held two positions concurrently: he was a member of the Lothian and Borders Police Board and the governor of Napier College from 1985 until his election to the House of Commons two years later.
Alistair Darling’s Political Career
Alistair Darling’s political career developed as he assumed a number of important positions in the British government. Prime Minister Tony Blair first named him Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 1997, and he quickly rose to become Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in 1998. This was the start of an illustrious career spanning several important departments and ministerial positions.
After an impressive four years at the Department for Work and Pensions, Darling took on a dual role in 2003, holding the positions of Secretary of State for Scotland and Secretary of State for Transport. His skillful management of these portfolios proved his adaptability and brought him praise from the government.
Who is Alistair Darling’s wife, Margaret Vaughan?
Margaret McQueen-Vaughan is Alistair Darling’s wife. She was born in 1955 in Edinburgh, Scotland. She used to work as a journalist for Radio Forth, the Daily Record, and the Glasgow Herald. Darling and she married in 1986, and they have two children.
Vaughan is a private person who rarely speaks in public. She has, however, been described as intelligent, witty, and strong-willed. She is also described as a loving wife and mother. Vaughan has always been supportive of her husband’s political career. She has accompanied him on numerous campaign trips and has been a source of strength for him during trying times.