Scottish Conservatives appoint new chairman

4 Jun 2015


Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has today appointed Rab Forman as the party’s new chairman.

He takes over from Richard Keen who resigned the post last week after his own appointment as Advocate General at the Scotland Office.

Mr Forman, 67, brings a lifetime’s experience as a leading grass-roots figure to the role – as a former Conservative councillor, a long-standing office bearer, and the party’s current Honorary Secretary.

A senior partner in a prominent Scottish legal firm, he is a respected Edinburgh solicitor, and a well-known figure within the capital’s civic life.

His appointment has been backed by Prime Minister David Cameron and he will take up his new role with immediate effect.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said:

“I am delighted that Rab has agreed to take on the position as Scottish Conservative Party chairman.

“The party has changed a lot in recent years and Rab has helped to manage that change as honorary secretary.

“He undertook the revision of the party constitution and has been a guiding hand, a voice of reason and a real driving force in making our party more professional and accountable.

“He has been a great support to me and is an excellent choice to take over from Richard and to help lead the party into the next Scottish Parliamentary election.”

Rab Forman said:

“I am delighted to take on this role at such an important time in Scottish politics.

“I have one priority – to help Ruth continue the great work she is doing in taking the Conservative message to all parts of Scotland and to all walks of Scottish life.

“We’ve always been the party of hard work and aspiration.

“We’re also the party that will always stand up for Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom. Under Ruth, those values are reaching a new audience and gaining support.

“There is no doubt in my mind that, going into next year’s Holyrood elections, we can be the real pro-UK alternative to the SNP in Scotland.

“I’ve spent many years as a member of the party and to be appointed to this post is a huge honour. Richard Keen was an excellent Chairman and I pay tribute to his efforts.

“I want to continue the good work he and Ruth have done to make sure this party is fighting fit before next year’s elections.”

Notes to editors:

Rab Forman, 67, is a senior partner at Blackadders LLP, where he works as a private client solicitor.

He was born and brought up in Edinburgh, attending the Royal High School and then Edinburgh University.

He qualified as a solicitor, and has worked in the Scottish capital all his working life.

As a long-standing member of the Scottish Conservatives, he was elected as a Councillor for the former Lothian Regional Council in 1990. He served the Merchiston and Morningside ward for four years.

From 2005, he has served as Honorary Secretary of the party on the Scottish Executive and then the Management Board.

Among un-elected roles in the party, that position is second only in importance to the role of Chairman – which Mr Forman now takes up.

Mr Forman is one of Edinburgh’s most well-known figures, respected both for his successful legal career and his active role in the city’s civic life.

Among his many roles, he has served as moderator of the Society of High Constables of Edinburgh, secretary of the Royal High school FP club and a director of Lothian Regional Transport plc. 

A widower, Mr Forman has a son and a daughter and seven grand-children. Outside of work, and when not spending time with his partner Liz and family, he enjoys his small motor boat off the coast of Fife.