Allan is Leader of The Moray Council. He was elected in May 2007 and re-elected in May 2012 as one of the four members for the Laich and Heldon ward.  He previously served two terms with Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Before turning to local government, Allan had a 35-year career in food and farming journalism.  That included four years as agricultural editor of the Press and Journal from where he joined the BBC in Aberdeen.  When Radio Scotland was re-launched in 1978, his was the first voice on the airwaves at six in the morning.

Allan then worked in London as agricultural editor for Radio 4.  There he produced and presented the early morning Farming Today and On Your Farm and had some responsibilities for The Archers.

Allan retired from the BBC in 2000 to return to his native Dumfriesshire where he set up his own press and PR business that continued until he became a councillor.