James lives in the Cathcart Constituency and has stayed there most of his life.
He joined Glasgow City Council in May 2007 as the elected Member representing the SNP in the new Langside Ward. He was elected as the Leader of the Opposition in Glasgow City Council in 2008.
James previously stood for the SNP in the Ayr Constituency in 2003 Holyrood election, and Glasgow South West in 2005 Westminster elections. He was elected as MSP for Glasgow Cathcart in the 2011 Holyrood Elections.
Before becoming a councillor James worked for Stewart Maxwell MSP and during this time was described as a 'key player at the vanguard in the battle to bring about a smoking ban'.
In his 'spare' time, James lists watching football, attending theatre and reading among his hobbies.