Jamie, 36, was born in Greenock and lived in the Gibbshill estate in his early years. He attended St Johns primary and St Stephens High School, both in Port Glasgow. Jamie holds dual UK / Canadian citizenship, his mother was born in Toronto, Ontario. In his early career, his first job was part-time in a shoe shop in Greenock town centre whilst studying at James Watt College, Greenock. He worked for a spell at IBM in Greenock as a call centre analyst before moving to a career in radio – working in advertising sales. He moved to London and trained as a TV producer working for many years on a number of productions for TV channels including the BBC and other commercial broadcasters, often using his French and Spanish language skills to work and live overseas including stints in Spain, France and Australia.
He left the creative industry and became a commercial manager with a private media company which launched dozens of new television channels, both in the UK and overseas. He also helped set up the foundations of the UK’s local TV network. His areas of expertise included broadcast licensing and regulation, broadcast infrastructure, managing corporate mergers and acquisitions, business planning and commercial modelling. He moved on to become an executive at Viacom – the owners of MTV, Paramount and Nickelodeon as Director of Business Development. After a brief spell as Head of UK Sales at a US television software company he was elected to the Scottish Parliament on May 5th 2016.
His first attempt to get into politics was standing for the Scottish Conservatives in 2015 in the North Ayrshire and Arran seat. In 2016 he stood for the Scottish Parliament equivalent seat of Cunninghame North, putting the Conservatives into 2nd place for the first time. He was elected to the Scottish Parliament after becoming de-facto number one candidate on the West Scotland regional list for the Scottish Conservatives.
Jamie, who is openly gay, is a qualified TESOL/TEFL English language teacher, holds a PADI Scuba diving qualification and a sailing skipper licence. He is an amateur silversmith and makes his own cufflinks. He speaks numerous European languages to various levels of fluency, would like to improve his Gaelic and has an unhealthy but encyclopaedic knowledge of the Eurovision Song Contest, which he has attended live 5 times. He now lives in a small rented house near Dalry in North Ayrshire where he is hoping to grow his own vegetables again, if time permits.