|Minister for Transport and Planning|
19 May 1999 – 27 November 2001
|First Minister||Donald Dewar|
Jim Wallace (Acting)
|Preceded by||Office created|
|Succeeded by||Wendy Alexander (Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning)|
|Member of the Scottish Parliament |
(1 of 7 Regional MSPs)
|Assumed office |
15 July 2019
|Preceded by||Kezia Dugdale|
5 May 2011 – 23 March 2016
|Member of the Scottish Parliament |
for Edinburgh Central
6 May 1999 – 5 May 2011
|Preceded by||Constituency created|
|Succeeded by||Marco Biagi|
|Born||16 May 1961|
|Political party||Scottish Labour Party|
|Alma mater||University of Glasgow|
Sarah Boyack (born 16 May 1961 in Glasgow) is a Scottish Labour politician serving as Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Lothian since 2019, and previously from 2011 to 2016. She was formerly constituency MSP for Edinburgh Central in the Scottish Parliament.
Boyack was brought up in Edinburgh where she was one of the first female pupils at the Royal High School. She went on to study at the University of Glasgow in 1979, gaining an MA Honours degree in Modern History and Politics. She became active in the Labour Club, where she was a protégé of Margaret Curran. She became chair of the Labour Club in 1981–82, and chair of the National Organisation of Labour Students in 1985–86. During her time at Glasgow University, she was involved in supporting the twinning with Bir Zeit University in the West Bank.
She worked as a town planner in the London Borough of Brent then as a strategic planner in Central Regional Council in Stirling. She then became a lecturer at the School of Planning and Housing at Heriot Watt University and was Convener of the Scottish Branch of the Royal Town Planning Institute in 1997.
Boyack was elected to the new Scottish Parliament in 1999, and was Minister for Transport and the Environment in the Scottish Executive from 1999 until 2000. Then, she was Minister for Transport and Planning from 2000 until 2001, during which time she introduced one of Scottish Labour's flagship policies of free bus travel for people over 60 and disabled people. She was elected Convenor of the Scottish Parliament's Environment and Rural Development Committee in June 2003 and stood down in January 2007 when she returned to the Scottish Executive as Deputy Minister for the Environment and Rural Development.
In November 2004 Boyack received the RSPB Goldcrest Award for the most outstanding contribution to the development of environmental policy in Scotland since devolution and in December 2005 was named the Scottish Renewables Best Politician.
On 28 October 2014, Boyack declared that she would stand in the upcoming election to become the Leader of the Scottish Labour Party. She came third to Jim Murphy and Neil Findlay with 9.24% of the vote.
Boyack again contested the Edinburgh Central seat in the 2016 general election, but was defeated by Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, who stood for the same constituency. Boyack was also placed third on the Lothian regional list of Labour candidates behind Kezia Dugdale and Neil Findlay, but did not return to Holyrood following the election since Labour won only two list seats.
In February 2017, Boyack was appointed as Head of Public Affairs at the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, the membership body for social housing providers in Scotland.
On 30 April 2019 it was announced that Boyack would return to the Scottish Parliament as a list MSP, following Kezia Dugdale's decision to vacate her seat in the summer. As an unsuccessful Labour candidate on the Lothian regional list in 2016, Boyack was the next person on the list if a seat was vacated. In September 2019, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard made her Spokesperson for Communities and Local Government.
|New constituency|| Member of the Scottish Parliament for Edinburgh Central
| Minister for Transport and the Environment
| Minister for Transport and Planning
as Minister for Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning
| Convener of the Scottish Parliament Environment and Rural Development Committee
| Deputy Minister for the Environment and Rural Development
as Minister for Environment