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Ruan Preston
#1
Name: Ruan James Malcolm Preston
Age: 37 (3rd of October, 1953)
Gender: Male
Ethnicity: White British (Scottish)
Sexuality: Heterosexual
Avatar: Sander Dekker
Discord Username: Martinulus/Dr. Marty

Education: Fettes College, then attended Balliol College, Oxford to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics
Career: partner in the communications firm Preston McLeod at Edinburgh

Party: Labour Party
Constituency: Midlothian
Faction: Progressives
Parliamentary Career: (if applicable) elected 1983, re-elected 1987, appointed Shadow Skills Minister 1987, involved in the relevant Policy Review Committee, elected to the Shadow Cabinet 1989 and appointed Shadow Education Secretary.
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#2
Ruan Malcolm James Preston was born on the 3rd of October, 1953 in Edinburgh to university professor of classics Alisdair Preston and his wife Molly (née Brown). Growing up in a very engaged household, Ruan recounted of his upbringing that "politics was always a subject around the dinner table (...) we'd always talk about the state of the country and the world." He attended Fettes College as a day student, where he was a contemporary of later fellow Labour MP Tony Blair. An excellent student, he went on to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Balliol College, Oxford between 1971 and 1975.

After obtaining his Bachelor's Ruan worked in various jobs, returning to Edinburgh halfway, after which he started to work in communications. In 1978, he partnered with Lachlan MacLeod, a friend from his student days, to found the communications firm Preston MacLeod in central Edinburgh. In 1979, the firm contributed to the Yes campaign in the Scottish devolution referendum, which brought Ruan into renewed contact with the Scottish Labour Party, of which MacLeod was already a member. He joined in the run-up to the campaign in 1978. Defeat of his party in the 1979 election gradually led to an increased involvement in politics by Ruan, who in these years was, according to his own account, reliably on the left of the party.

In 1979, not long after the campaign, he married Lorna Murray, a friend of his partner's whom he had been introduced to a few years before. The couple moved into their own apartment in Edinburgh, but not soon after, the death of Ruan's grandfather left them with a house in the Midlothian town of Dalkeith. The two moved into the house with the blessing of Ruan's parents. They had 3 children - Malcolm, Alexandra and Lachlan.

Ruan was approached to allow himself to be shortlisted as PPC for the Midlothian constituency in 1983, and was selected with the backing of friends in Scottish Labour HQ. He was elected MP for the safe seat after a national campaign he himself found a disaster - quite agreeing with figures such as Gwyneth Dunwoody that it was the presentation and politics of the party that had led to its landslide defeat. A backer of Neil Kinnock for the leadership and Roy Hattersley for the deputy leadership, Ruan greatly supported (and occasionally offered his unrequested advice) the repositioning of the party.

The 1987 election was a watershed moment in Ruan's political thinking. Where he had previously been convinced that the party could have repositioned itself more modestly and that it should have merely implemented One Member One Vote (OMOV) to give rank-and-file members more of a say, the defeat of 1987 convinced him that drastic reform was needed if Labour was ever to form another government. An enthusiastic supporter of the push of the NEC and Leader's Office for a wholesale Policy Review and overhaul of the party organisation, he ran for the Shadow Cabinet on the Tribune slate, but failed to win election. He was appointed Shadow Skills Minister by Neil Kinnock, contributing to the Policy Review enthusiastically. In 1989, he successfully got into the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Education Secretary.

Watchers of Ruan Preston's career have recently speculated on his positioning within the party, which has diverged from the mainstream of the Tribune Group into what some see as more radical departures. While being a publicly vocal defender of the policy review as a programme for government, Ruan has occasionally allowed himself to be seen to hold views on issues like Europe and working with businesses that go beyond its scope. He has, in general, taken an interest in the work of the Institute for Public Policy Research, occasionally contributing to its work.
Ruan Preston MP
Labour MP for Midlothian (1983-present)
Shadow Home Secretary (1990-present)
Progressive | Biography | 2 XP | Safe Pair of Hands

"The true purpose of democratic socialism and, therefore, the true aim of the Labour Party, is the creation of a genuinely free society, in which the fundamental objective of government is the protection and extension of individual liberty."
- Neil Kinnock and Roy Hattersley, Democratic Socialist Aims & Values
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