Scottish leaders pay tribute to Margo MacDonald

Contains Scottish Parliamentary information licensed under the Open Scottish Parliament Licence v1.0.Today, the Lothians are especially grey and misty. The sight of brightly clad friends and colleagues of Independent MSP Margo MacDonald heading to her memorial service will be a real contrast, exactly as Margo has lit up Scottish politics since her Govan by-election victory 40 years ago. The whole of Scotland will have the chance to show its pride in a warm, straight-talking independent spirit.

Earlier this week, Scottish party leaders paid tribute to her in Parliament. Watched by her husband Jim Sillars and her daughters, they shared memories of how she fought for her causes, from independence to assisted dying and the rights of sex workers – and of how she told her female colleagues off if they didn’t wear enough jewellery. Willie Rennie talked about how she trod that line between rebel and credibility, able to deliver difficult messages and still be respected. He talked of her authenticity and how she was trusted by so many people, how she’d had a positive impact on her party even after she left it.

The comments of the leaders reflect the feelings of people both across and beyond Scottish politics. Margo, as she was simply known, was loved by the whole nation.

All the tributes shared a warmth, respect and affection and are well worth watching. The service, at 10:30 am, will be streamed on the BBC News website.

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Photo:Contains Scottish Parliamentary information licensed under the Open Scottish Parliament Licence v1.0.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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