From MSP to SAP

Former MSP for Aberdeen North, Elaine Thomson (46), has rejoined her former employer, SAP consultancy Absoft, after narrowly losing the seat in May’s elections.

Elaine worked for Absoft for four years prior to the May 1999 elections and when she recently approached the company for a reference she was offered a position at the fast growing IT company.

“Both in and out of parliament, I have always had a strong interest in information technology and it’s great to be working in this arena again,” said Elaine who is working as a materials management consultant in the Absoft client support centre. “However, Absoft knows that I will be seeking re-election in 2007 and it is an example of how accommodating the company is as an employer that they are supporting me in this ambition.”

Elaine has been an active Labour Party member since 1982 but her position as an MSP was her first in public office. “For the first year or two we all found it incredibly challenging particularly because everything was completely new” she said.

Elaine held the post of deputy convenor of the Finance Committee, which has the responsibility of scrutinising the Scottish Budget, currently some £22 billion. She was also the Chair of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Oil and Gas 1999-2003 and served on the Enterprise and Lifelong Learning Committee and Local Government Committee.

Life is now very different for Elaine, who in addition to her time with the Parliament in Edinburgh ran an office in Aberdeen with two full time staff. “I have reacquired a personal life and am seeing more of my partner, Archie,” she said. “I have also started an MSC in Corporate Communication and Public Affairs via RGU’s virtual campus and I am developing my French.”

But Elaine continues to be involved in the wider community and recently accepted an invitation to join the board of Cornerstone Community Care, a leading provider of care for those with learning disabilities.  She is also the local patron for the Aberdeen Group of the National Osteoporosis Society and remains involved in local politics.

“I stood for election in 1999 because I saw it as an enormous opportunity to pursue policies that I am interested in and to promote core Labour values, and that desire is still with me,” said Thomson. “Absoft is a marvellous company and I will be giving them my all whilst working there, but they know that come May 2007 I hope to be returning to the Scottish Parliament.”