Former MSP John Farquhar Munro dies at 79

John Farquhar MunroJohn Farquhar Munro, who represented Ross, Skye and Inverness West in the Scottish Parliament from its creation in 1999 until he stood down in 2011 has died at his home at the age of 79.

He was never shy about speaking his mind and voting against the rest of the Liberal Democrat group when he felt it necessary.

Scottish Leader Willie Rennie, who knew him well from the early days of when he was our Chief of Staff in the Parliament paid a warm tribute to him:

John F was a canny, crafty Highlander who calmly asserted his place in the political world. His roots in crofting and the west Highlands gave the strength and depth to endure the trials of politics.

Delivering the right status for Gaelic, protecting crofting and abolishing the Skye bridge tolls are just a few of his many achievements in public life.

His character and personality attracted friends from across politics.

Our thoughts are with his wife Celia, who was a tower of strength in all he did, and all his friends and family.

Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael said on Facebook (reproduced with his permission):

Sad news that John Farquhar Munro has died. A warm, witty, Highland gentleman. Will be missed.

Candy Piercy, his campaign manager when he was first elected, had this to say:

So very sad to hear of the death of John Farquhar Munro. He was one of the nicest and most worthwhile candidates I ever worked with. I was his campaign manager the first time he was elected as an MSP. I am very proud to have been part of his team. My thoughts and love to his family.

Fee Milne, a member of Scottish Parliament staff said:

A true gent who from day one made working for the Lib Dems that little bit more interesting. #freespirit #maverick

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  • Galen Milne 26th Jan '14 - 8:36pm
  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 26th Jan '14 - 10:38pm

    Your point, Galen? Should that stop us respecting his memory?

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 27th Jan '14 - 8:02am

    John F’s comments about Salmond were purely an endorsement of him as FM, not of the SNP and, viewed in the context of 2011, when Labour had thrown away a stonking poll lead by gross ineptitude, are probably not as controversial as they look. Certainly they weren’t entirely helpful at the time, but John F was known for telling it like he saw it.

    Geoff, what would you call a party in power when the Police Force stops and searches 750,000 people out of a population of 6 million, including 500 children under 10 years old? Or one that is removing a pivotal principle of the Scottish legal system and not replacing it with decent evidential safeguards? Or a Justice Minister who authorises excessive use of solitary confinement for vulnerable female prisoners and takes two damning reports before he even starts to take action to improve horrific facilities in prisons for women. They are far from liberal.

  • Robin Bennett 27th Jan '14 - 9:33pm

    Omitting mention of John F Munro’s volte face is in line with the party’s policy of denial about the merits of independence – and the Grimond legacy. But, Caron, you are right to list the deplorable policies of the present Justice minister, to which you could have added court closures.

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