Jenny Marra

Jennifer Margaret "Jenny" Marra (born 6 November 1977) is a Scottish Labour Party politician representing the North East Scotland electoral region in the Scottish Parliament since 2011.

Jenny Marra

Member of the Scottish Parliament
for North East Scotland
(1 of 7 Regional MSPs)
Assumed office
5 May 2011
Personal details
Jennifer Margaret Marra

(1977-11-06) 6 November 1977
Dundee, Scotland
Political partyScottish Labour Party
John Thomson (m. 2016)
Alma materUniversity of St Andrews
Emory University
University of Dundee

Early life and education

Marra was born on 6 November 1977 in Dundee to Eileen Margaret and Nicholas James Marra. She attended St John's High School in Dundee before going on to study history at the University of St Andrews, graduating in 1999 with an MA in modern history.[1] She won a scholarship to Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, after which she returned to her home town and spent five years promoting Dundee as a location for students, research and investment as Head of Press at the University of Dundee.[2] In 2008 she graduated from the University of Glasgow with an LLB, and in 2009 received a graduate diploma in law from BPP University in London. In 2010 she graduated with a Diploma in Legal Practice from the University of Dundee.[1]

Political career

After a stint as the Labour MEPs spokesperson in Brussels and Strasbourg, Marra took a Scots law degree and qualified in both Scots and English law and Scottish legal practice. She is member of the GMB, Community and Amnesty International.[3] She was Labour's Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport from 2014 until 2016.[4] In addition to her party posts, Marra was also the Convenor for the Cross Party Group on Deafness.[4]

In the 2014 Scottish Labour Party leadership election, Marra acted as Co-Chair of Jim Murphy’s campaign.[5]

At the 2016 Scottish Parliament election Marra stood for Dundee City West constituency and finished behind Joe Fitzpatrick, then she was returned to parliament as a list MSP.[6] She is currently the Convener of the Scottish Committee for Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny.[7]

In November 2019, it was announced that Marra and Scottish National Party MSP Joan McAlpine would be hosting an event on behalf of the "Women's Human Rights Campaign", an international campaign that launched in New York in March 2019. The Campaign's self-declared focus is on "the importance of keeping the current sex based definition of woman". The announcement was met with criticism from some feminist and LGBT groups, including Engender, The Equality Network and the Scottish Trans Alliance, who expressed their concerns that the Campaign's aims would breach Human Rights law, and in particular the rights of transgender people. However, a spokeswoman for the Campaign claimed that their aim was to "re-affirm women’s sex-based rights, as set out in international human rights documents".[8]

Personal life

In May 2016 she married John Thomson of the newspaper group DC Thomson, in St Andrews, Fife.[9] She is a niece of the late musician Michael Marra.[10]


  1. "Marra, Jennifer Margaret, (born 6 Nov. 1977), Member (Lab) Scotland North East, Scottish Parliament, since 2011", Who's Who, Oxford University Press, 1 December 2012, doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u255727, retrieved 22 April 2019
  2. Jenny Marra's website Archived 22 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  3. Jenny Marra MSP Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  4. The Scottish Parliament profile of Jenny Marra Archived 20 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  5. Douglas Dickie (7 November 2014). "Scottish Labour Leadership: Rutherglen MSP gives his backing to Jim Murphy MP in leadership race". Daily Record. Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  6. "Holyrood 2016: SNP hold Tayside and Central seats". BBC News. BBC. 6 May 2016. Archived from the original on 9 May 2016. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  7. "Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee". Archived from the original on 1 May 2017. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  8. Davidson, Emma (6 November 2019). "Women's rights declaration sparks accusations of discrimination". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  9. "Press Reader". Scottish Daily Mail. 28 May 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  10. "Dundee musician Michael Marra dies following battle with illness". STV. Archived from the original on 25 February 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
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