Motion of Condolence

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 3rd September 2013.

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Photo of Tricia Marwick Tricia Marwick None

The next item of business is one that we would prefer not to be holding: a motion of condolence in the name of Ruth Davidson, following the death of David McLetchie MSP. I remind members that a book of condolence will be available for them to sign in the black and white corridor for the rest of the week.

I would like to welcome Sheila and James and all of the McLetchie family to the gallery as Parliament pays its own tributes to David McLetchie. Thank you for being with us today. On behalf of all of us who were at the funeral, I say to James that the eulogy he gave was the finest eulogy from a son to a father that I have ever heard.

David and I started together as part of the first intake of MSPs in 1999. In those early days, I would come into the chamber when I knew that David was due to speak. He was always witty, clever and a great debater, and I wished that I could be like him.

I had a great personal relationship with David. We were often on opposite sides of an issue, and we both served on the first Scotland Bill Committee. It is fair to say that that committee was more than occasionally fraught and regularly robust, and David and I were often at the heart of that. However, through that long process, we used to pass notes to each other commenting on the day’s business, and we always maintained good humour and total respect for each other’s point of view.

Despite failing health, David played a full part in parliamentary business way beyond the time that some of us thought he should. Those contributions were as robust and erudite as any of his previous contributions over the years. That was the mark of the man, and it demonstrates his commitment to the Parliament.

David always shone brightly in the chamber in particular, which I know he loved. We will all miss his contributions. This place will be that bit dimmer without David McLetchie.