Scotland politics

Ruth Davidson funeral tribute to 'true blue Tory' Alex Johnstone

Glenbervie Church

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson described late colleague Alex Johnstone as a "proper true blue Tory" at his funeral.

The North East MSP, who had served at the Scottish Parliament since 1999, passed away last week aged 55 shortly after being diagnosed with cancer.

Ms Davidson said he had instructed his funeral be held on a Friday.

This was because parliament was not sitting, "so the SNP wouldn't win any votes while Tories were here".

Ms Davidson told the service at Glenbervie Parish Church in Aberdeenshire: "He was a proper true blue Tory who would go into bat for the team but never fell out with anyone while doing so.

Image caption Ruth Davidson paid tribute at the funeral

"A Labour blogger said you could disagree with him without ever finding him disagreeable.

"The first minister said he was never afraid to stand up robustly for the causes he believed in - but always did so with good humour and respect for his political opponents."

She went on to recall Kincardineshire-born former dairy farmer and grandfather-of-six Mr Johnstone's "humanity, his decency and his sense of fun".

Image caption Mr Johnstone died earlier this month

Ms Davidson said: "Alex wasn't just reliable - he was good. He wasn't just solid, he was able.

She also paid tribute to Mr Johnstone's wife of 36 years, Linda, saying: "He couldn't have been the politician he was, he couldn't have been the man he was, without Linda being there.

"I know many, many happy, supportive couples. But I don't know any that are the indivisible unit they were."

The Scottish Conservatives announced earlier this week that Bill Bowman would take over as regional list MSP for the North East.

Mr Bowman stood for the Conservatives in Dundee City East earlier this year.

Image copyright Scottish Conservatives
Image caption Bill Bowman replaces Alex Johnstone

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