Tributes are paid to pensioners’ champion

John Swinburne pictured at the Scottish Parliament office on George IV Bridge  in Edinburgh shortly after being elected as a Central Scotland MSP in the 2003 election
John Swinburne pictured at the Scottish Parliament office on George IV Bridge in Edinburgh shortly after being elected as a Central Scotland MSP in the 2003 election

Tributes have been paid to former MSP John Swinburne who died on Sunday at the age of 87.

The former Dalziel High pupil formed the Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party in 2003 and won a seat on the Central Scotland list.

He would remain in Holyrood for four years until losing his seat in 2007, although would contest several more elections.

He was remembered with fondness by some of his political rivals who represented Central Scotland with him in the Scottish Parliament.

Cabinet Secretary for Justice Michael Matheson said: “I am saddened to hear of John’s death and would like to pass on my condolences to his family and friends.

“John was always a very passionate MSP who spoke up for his constituents, particularly on issues for older people.

“He will be sadly missed for the passion and colour he brought to political life in Central Scotland.”

Airdrie and Shotts MSP Alex Neil said: “John was a gentleman of the old school, in Parliament he spoke his mind and was a real champion for older people’s causes

“I liked working with John. I admired and respected him and I am very sorry to hear of his passing.”

Central Scotland list MSP Margaret Mitchell said: “John was always passionate about protecting pensioners’ rights and I admired his efforts within the Parliament to bring this issue to the fore.

“My thoughts are with his family at this sad time.”

John was also commerical director at Motherwell FC, prior to becoming a directopr of the club from 2000-15,

His funeral will take place on Saturday at 10.30am in Motherwell South Parish Church, please wear claret and amber if possible.