A former BT executive and MSP, David was elected as a Member of the UK Parliament in May 2005 when he won the newly created seat of Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale with a notional eight per cent swing from Labour.
Born in Dumfries in 1962, son of an hotelier, he went to Lockerbie Academy, read law at Edinburgh University and took a master’s degree in business administration at Strathclyde University Business School.
He worked as a solicitor in private practice before joining BT as group legal adviser for Scotland in 1991, rising to become BT Scotland’s head of national affairs.
As a student, he was a councillor in Annandale and Eskdale for two years and on Dumfries and Galloway council for another one until 1987.
David contested the Dumfries constituency in the first Scottish Parliament elections in 1999; he was elected from the South of Scotland regional list. He served on Scottish Parliamentary committees concerned with Europe, legislative scrutiny and enterprise and lifelong learning.
He was re-elected as a list MSP in 2003 and became Conservative spokesman for telecommunications, transport and IT, and a member of the local government and transport committee. He was convenor of the cross-party group on textiles, clothing and footwear and also a member of the cross-party group on affordable housing. He brought in a private member’s bill to separate local elections from Scottish Parliament elections.
He stood down from the Holyrood Parliament on his election to Westminster, where he was appointed to the Select Committee on Scottish Affairs and also became vice-chairman of the All-Party Groups on Scotch Whisky and the West Coast Main Line.
After David Cameron’s election as leader he returned the post of Shadow Scottish Secretary to the Shadow Cabinet and appointed David to the position. David is also chairman of the Scottish Conservative Candidates Board which has to select candidates for the Scottish Parliament elections in 2007.
He is well known as a community campaigner in his constituency. He has spoken out on regeneration of rural areas, road improvements, more affordable housing, and cuts in rural services such as schools and post offices and against large-scale wind farm developments.
He lists business, commerce and rural affairs and his main policy interests, and has a particular interest in the USA. He writes a weekly column for the Lanark Gazette and a monthly column for Dumfriesshire Newspapers and the Peeblesshire News.
David has three children and he lives in Moffat in Dumfriesshire.
In May 2010, David was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Scotland Office.