Alistair Darling: a 'Trot' with a Tory uncle?
Who knows Darling?
Who Knows Who takes a look at Alistair Darling's career, from student politico to chancellor.
No obvious candidate for socialist militancy, the "solid student" from an Edinburgh private school caught the political bug during his time at the University of Aberdeen.
Darling's former professor Mike Meston told The Times he recalled "an excellent learner who thought for himself... level headed and remarkably normal."
The Respect party's George Galloway, the firebrand MP thrown out of the Labour Party in 2003, has a different story.
"When I first met him 35 years ago, Darling was pressing Trotskyite tracts on bewildered railwaymen at Waverley Station in Edinburgh," he has said.
Indeed Darling is known to have been friends with Scottish MP the late Ron Brown, known as "Red Ron". He famously broke the House of Commons mace during a debate about Margaret Thatcher's poll tax in 1987.
Darling began his rise through the Labour ranks when Neil Kinnock made him opposition home affairs spokesman in 1988. After the 1992 general election he became a spokesman on treasury affairs.
Darling held a range of posts in the Tony Blair administration. He entered the cabinet in 1997 as chief secretary to the treasury.
He then moved through the Department for Work and Pensions and in 2002 replaced Stephen Byers as transport secretary.
A constant presence in all the New Labour cabinets, Darling finally took over as chancellor from Gordon Brown in 2007.
In 2008, he let slip his love of Canadian singer and cult icon, Leonard Cohen; a man, like the chancellor, famed for being downbeat. On the title track of his 1992 album The Future, Cohen sang: "Give me back the Berlin wall, give me Stalin and St Paul."
Darling moved onto (lyrically) safer turf when he later revealed he had updated his iPod with Chris Martin's Coldplay.
The chancellor has been married to former journalist Margaret Vaughan, known as Maggie Darling, since 1986. They have two children, Calum and Anna.
Calum Darling is following in his father's footsteps. He is currently president of Aberdeen University Labour Club.
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Who are we talking about?
Labour MP for Edinburgh South West
Alistair Darling, who was Chancellor of the Exchequer between 2007 and 2010 after a decade in the Labour cabinet, stepped down from front bench politics in the wake of the Labour leadership election…Connections: 24 (See map)
Prime minister 2007-2010
Labour MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, Gordon Brown became prime minister in 2007 after 10 years as chancellor.Connections: 85 (See map)
Former Conservative MP
Sir William was MP for Edinburgh South in the 1950s. His great-nephew is Labour chancellor Alistair Darling.Connections: 1 (See map)
Former Labour and Respect MP
Former Labour MP for Glasgow Hillhead, he was expelled from the party in 2003 and subsequently formed Respect.Connections: 9 (See map)
Former MP for Edinburgh Leith
The late Ron Brown was known as "Red Ron". He became famous for for breaking the House of Commons mace during a poll tax debate in 1987.Connections: 1 (See map)
A Trotskyist group active in Britain between 1968 and 1982.Connections: 1 (See map)