Born in Greenock in September 1950, Duncan McNeil entered his first shipyard as an apprentice boilermaker in 1965.
He left the industry in 1979 to act as a co-ordinator for the Unemployed Workers Centres in Glasgow.
In 1981, he became a full time official with the GMB union. It was through the union that he was given the opportunity to take advantage of second chance learning, which ultimately led to him becoming a Regional Organiser.
It was in this role that he acted as lead negotiator in the whisky industry – brokering the landmark partnership agreements.
Following six years on the Labour Party’s Scottish Executive Committee, Mr McNeil was elected to the Scottish Parliament from the Greenock & Inverclyde constituency in May 1999.
After 15 months serving on the Enterprise & Lifelong Learning Committee, he became Labour’s Chief Whip and was elected to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) in December 2001.
Following his re-election in May 2003, Mr McNeil left the Whips’ Office to take up the position of Chair of the Scottish Parliamentary Labour Party (SPLP) and serve as a member of the Health Committee.
He was re-elected as MSP for Greenock and Inverclyde in May 2007. During this current term, he took up the the position of Convener of the Local Government and Communities Committee.
He was re-elected for a 4th term as MSP for Greenock and Inverclyde in May 2011. He took up the position of Convenor of the Health and Sport Committee.