Scotland politics

Former Scottish Conservative MP Allan Stewart dies

Allan Stewart
Image caption Allan Stewart served as an MP for 18 years

The former Scottish Conservative politician Allan Stewart has died at the age of 74.

Mr Stewart was MP for East Renfrewshire and its successor constituency Eastwood in the 1980s and 1990s.

He twice served as under-secretary of state for Scotland at the Scottish Office.

He lost his ministerial post in 1995 after being fined in court for confronting anti-motorway protesters with a pick axe on the M77.

Mr Stewart stood down in Eastwood - then the safest Tory seat in Scotland - at the 1997 general election.

Jackson Carlaw, the deputy leader of the Scottish Conservatives, said Mr Stewart would be "missed enormously".

'Real rigour'

Mr Carlaw said Mr Stewart had "considerable influence" on UK government policy under both Margaret Thatcher and John Major.

He added: "It was a pleasure to work with Allan during his 18 years as MP for East Renfrewshire and in the years after, in which he remained a staunch supporter and campaigner."

Mr Stewart studied at St Andrews University and Harvard, and had a career as a political economy lecturer before becoming an MP in 1979.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said Mr Stewart had brought "brought real rigour" to policy-making during his two spells as a minister at the Scottish Office.

Mr Mundell added: "He will also be remembered as a hard-working constituency MP, whose election successes were a measure of how effective and well-liked he was.

"My thoughts are with his family at this sad time."