Phone: 0141 222 2480
George Lyon MEP
9 Newton Terrace
George Lyon was brought up in a 7th generation tenant farming family on the Isle of Bute. He attended Rothesay Academy before coming home to the family business at the age of 16 in 1972. In 1986 George Lyon became a Nuffield Scholar and travelled to New Zealand and Australia to study Farming without Subsidies. It is widely acknowledged he left a farmer and returned a politician. In 1989 he was elected Chair of Bute area of NFU Scotland and was nominated to National Council. In 1994 he was elected Chair of the NFU’s Animal Welfare Committee and then Vice President of the Union in 1996. He played a significant role in leading the industry through the BSE crisis. He was elected President of NFU Scotland in 1998 following the resignation of both the sitting President and the Chief Executive and led the organisation successfully through a very difficult restructuring and rebuilding. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society in 2001.
In March 1999 he stood down as NFU President and was successfully elected as MSP for Argyll & Bute at the first Scottish Parliament elections in May 1999 with a majority of 2075. He was elected Convenor of the first Scottish Liberal Democrat Parliamentary group and was Party spokesperson for Enterprise, Justice and Land Reform in the first Parliament. In 2003 he was re-elected with an increased majority of 4196 and served as Chief Whip and then Deputy Finance Minister during that term.
He has a strong track record of campaigning on rural issues and on land reform. As the local MSP he was instrumental in the Isle of Gigha community buyout. After narrowly losing his seat to the SNP in 2007 he returned to the family farming business. In late 2007 the Liberal Democrats elected him number 1 on their European list to replace the sitting MEP Elspeth Attwooll. In his spare time he is a keen sports fan and enjoys cycling and reading.