Tributes to Gordon Aikman

There is a real sadness across Scotland today at the loss of a wonderful young man. Gordon Aikman was the Research Director of the Better Together campaign when he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in the Summer of 2014. We all hoped that he would defy the odds and, like Stephen Hawking, still be there in his 70s. Sadly that was not to be as his death was announced this morning.

I only met him a few times. The first was at some reception organised by our Conference commercial people in Edinburgh a few months before he was diagnosed. He was very funny and friendly and someone who was very easy to get along with.

It says so much about him that his reaction to such a terrifying and horrific diagnosis was to do something to help those who came behind him. His Gordon’s Fightback appeal has, to date, raised almost £540,000. He did more than raise money, though. He put his research skills to good use and presented the First Minister with an irrefutable case for the provision of better care for MND sufferers, with more specialist nurses.

My heart goes out to his husband Joe Pike and his close friends including Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale.

All of Scotland’s political leaders, and some others, paid tribute to him today.

In a statement, he added:

This is incredibly sad news. Gordon was a generous and determined gentleman. My thoughts go out to Joe, Gordon’s family and friends.

His contribution during the independence referendum campaign was both intelligent and joyful. I have great memories of working with him. He has left a great legacy that no one will forget.

Labour Leader Kezia Dugdale is a close friend who has personally raised more than £20,000 for the appeal:

In her statement she said:

I will miss Gordon’s smile, his laugh, his energy, his brilliant dance moves and terrible singing voice, and his positive outlook on life despite the hand he was dealt towards the end. I will miss his advice and I will miss campaigning with him to advance the causes dear to us. But most of all I will miss just spending time with my friend.

Another couple of tweets that touched me:

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

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3 Comments

  • Eddie Sammon 3rd Feb '17 - 4:42pm

    Very sad news. I’ve shared his campaign. 🙁

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 3rd Feb '17 - 4:52pm

    So sorry to hear this sad news. Gordon was clearly a wonderful man, who achieved so much in the tragically short time granted to him. Sympathy to his husband Joe, and to all his family and friends

  • Iain Dale had an emotional tribute to him on LBC last night. It might be worth finding.

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