Brian Whittle was born in 1964 and grew up in Troon. After attending Marr College, Kilmarnock College and Glasgow University he began a career as an industrial chemist working for ICI at Ardeer.
From there, Brian changed direction entirely, becoming a professional athlete. He is proud to have represented Great Britain 45 times including at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. He also competed in the 1990 Commonwealth Games in New Zealand and won the gold medals in the 4x400m relay at the 1986 and 1994 European Athletics Championships. He is probably most famous for running his leg of the 1986 Championships with only one shoe – still managing to achieve a personal best!
Brian is still involved in sport today using his senior level 4 track and field coaching qualification to bring on the next generation of athletes.
After retiring from professional athletics he spent several years in business as a director of various companies including ones working in events management and most recently developing software for the healthcare industry.
Having participated in the campaign for Scotland to remain part of the UK in 2014, Brian was asked to stand for the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party in the Kilmarnock and Loudon seat at the 2015 Westminster General Election where he came third with the largest number of Conservative votes in the constituency since 1992.
Brian was elected as a Member of the Scottish Parliament for South Scotland in 2016 and served as the party's spokesperson for Public Health Mental Health, Wellbeing & Sport. At Holyrood, he was a member of the Health & Sport Committee and the Public Petitions Committee. He was also one of the parliament's most regular speakers and was among the highest ranked MSPs in session 5 for number of First Minister's Questions.
His particular area of interest is in how Scots from all backgrounds can have access to as many opportunities as possible to be more active. As the NHS faces a growing burden from preventable disease, it's more important than ever that there is a focus on trying to improve our health as a nation.
Brian was re-elected in 2021 as a South Scotland Regional MSP and has been appointed Shadow Minister for the Environment, Biodiversity and Land Reform. He also serves on Holyrood's Covid-19 Recovery Committee.