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David McAllister

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David McAllister
Landtag Niedersachsen DSCF7646 - McAllister cropped.jpg
David McAllister
Minister-President of Lower Saxony
Assumed office
1 July 2010
Preceded byChristian Wulff
Chairman of the CDU parliamentary group in the Landtag of Lower Saxony
In office
2003 – 1 July 2010
Preceded byChristian Wulff
Succeeded byBjörn Thümler
Chairman of the CDU of Lower Saxony
Assumed office
June 2008
Preceded byChristian Wulff
Member of the Landtag of Lower Saxony
Assumed office
Personal details
Born12 January 1971 (1971-01-12) (age 49)
West Berlin, West Germany
NationalityGerman, British
Political partyCDU
Spouse(s)Dunja (née Kolleck)
Children2 daughters

David James "Mac" McAllister (born 12 January 1971) is a German politician of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU). On 1 July 2010 he was elected Minister-President of the state of Lower Saxony,[1][2] succeeding Christian Wulff, who resigned following his election as President of Germany. McAllister heads a coalition government with the liberal FDP, the Cabinet McAllister.

A lawyer by profession, he has been the chairman of the CDU parliamentary group in the Landtag of Lower Saxony from 2003 to 2010 and was elected chairman of the state party in 2008. Since 2010, he is also a member of the supervisory board of Volkswagen.

McAllister is of German and Scottish descent, and he leads a state that has historic ties to Britain, as the old Kingdom of Hanover makes up parts of the state and the state capital is Hanover City.


Bederkesa Castle, a landmark in Bad Bederkesa

McAllister was born in West Berlin on 12 January 1971 to a Scottish father and a German mother. His father, James Buchanan McAllister, was a British civil servant, originally from Glasgow (where the family still has relatives). He had been stationed in West Berlin since 1969, attached to the Royal Corps of Signals. His mother, Mechthild McAllister, is a music teacher. David McAllister was raised bilingual (speaking English and German) and attended a British primary school in Berlin.[3]

After his parents moved to the small town of Bad Bederkesa in Lower Saxony in 1982, he went to the Lower Saxon Internatsgymnasium (boarding school) in Bederkesa, where he took his Abitur in 1989. From 1989 till 1991, McAllister served as a soldier in the Bundeswehr, in Panzerbataillon 74 in Cuxhaven. From 1991–96 he studied law with a scholarship of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation at the University of Hanover. In 1994, McAllister became local chairman of the Junge Union, the CDU youth organisation, in the Cuxhaven district.

David McAllister is both a German and a British citizen, but says that he is "more or less completely German. I've lived in Germany all my life. I did all my school in Germany and my military service in Germany."[4] His upbringing in West Berlin, however, he describes as "very British" with "British network, British schools". Holding dual citizenship, he could have relinquished his German citizenship to avoid compulsory military service in Germany (the UK does not have compulsory military service), but opted to serve instead.[5]

McAllister has said that "my upbringing in West Berlin may have had an impact on my resentment towards communists. I became a member of the CDU when I was 17 – it was a birthday present. My parents said, ‘What do you want for your birthday?’ I said I wanted to become a member of the CDU", explaining that his father was a Conservative, although none of his parents were involved in party politics.[4]

Political career

From 1996 till 2010, McAllister was a member of the Cuxhaven district council (Kreistag). He served as mayor of his hometown of Bad Bederkesa from 2001 to 2002. From 2002 to 2003, he also was secretary general of the CDU in Lower Saxony. Since 2003, McAllister has been the leader of the CDU parliamentary party group in the Parliament of Lower Saxony, of which he has been a member since 1998. McAllister succeeded Christian Wulff as party chairman of the CDU in Lower Saxony in June 2008, winning the election by a record margin. In the United Kingdom, McAllister is a supporter of the Conservative Party.

The Parliament of Lower Saxony, in the former residence of the Kings of Hanover

In 2005, Chancellor Angela Merkel offered him the position of Secretary General of the CDU, but McAllister declined, arguing he did not want to rise too far too fast.[6]

Minister-President of Lower Saxony

On 4 June 2010, he was chosen by his party to follow Christian Wulff as Minister-President of Lower Saxony, if the latter was to be elected President of Germany on 30 June. After the election of Wulff as President, David McAllister was elected the new Minister-President of Lower Saxony the following day. He was subsequently also appointed to the supervisory board of Volkswagen, the largest company of Lower Saxony and of which the state of Lower Saxony is a major stockholder.[7]

Personal life

He is married to Dunja McAllister, who is also a lawyer. They have two daughters, Jamie Elizabeth and Mia Louise.[8] He lives in Bad Bederkesa in the district of Cuxhaven.

Proud of his Scottish heritage, McAllister proposed to his wife at Loch Ness, and married in August 2003, wearing a kilt. He later explained it was a family tradition.


  1. "State Chancellery". Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  2. "Lower Saxony international". Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  3. "Mac" brings Scottish flavor to German politics, by Dave Graham, Reuters, 4 February 2009
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Scotsman to make history as state premier – The Local". Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  5. William Ahlen Berlin (22 February 2003). "Scot sets sights on leading Germany Son of Glasgow soldier becomes the Christian Democrat leader – Herald Scotland | Sport | SPL | Aberdeen". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  6. Kate Connolly in Berlin. "Conservative in a kilt to become premier of Lower Saxony | World news". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  7. "Handelszeitung – Neuer niedersächsischer Ministerpräsident zieht in VW-Aufsichtsrat ein". 1 July 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  8. Allan Hall (6 February 2009). "Could Germany be ruled by man named McAllister who got married in a kilt, supports Rangers... and drinks Irn-Bru? | Mail Online". The Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 22 February 2011. 

Other websites

Political offices
Preceded by
Christian Wulff
Prime Minister of Lower Saxony
since 1 July 2010
Preceded by
Christian Wulff
Chairman of the CDU parliamentary group in the Parliament of Lower Saxony
Succeeded by
Björn Thümler
Party political offices
Preceded by
Christian Wulff
Chairman of Christian Democratic Union
in Lower Saxony

[[Category:Politicians of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany