TRIBUTES have been paid to one of Edinburgh’s longest-serving politicians who died at the weekend.
Liberal Democrat Donald Gorrie began his political career as a councillor in the city in 1971 and went on to become an MP and an MSP before retiring in 2007.
He was 79 and had been ill for some time.
Mr Gorrie first became prominent as an athlete, specialising in middle-distance running, and held the 880 yards Scottish record.
He was elected to the old Edinburgh Corporation in 1971 and represented the Corstorphine area on the old Edinburgh District Council, Lothian Region and finally the city council.
He won Edinburgh West from the Tories at the 1997 General Election at the fifth attempt.
And when the Scottish Parliament was established in 1999, he was elected as MSP for Central Scotland, continuing until 2007.
Paul Edie, leader of the current Lib Dem group on the city council, said Mr Gorrie had been the dominant figure in Edinburgh Liberal politics,
“He was a man who had a strong sense of morality and his politics were very much shaped by his sense of right and wrong. He had so much in common with the great Liberal hero Gladstone in that regard and like the Grand Old Man he became more radical the older he got.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: “With a liberal backbone made of steel, Donald Gorrie dedicated his life to challenging the establishment.
“A highly effective councillor and parliamentarian, he revelled in the battle for fairness, opportunity and justice. Donald was never afraid to be a lone voice.”
First Minister Alex Salmond said: “He was a man of independent mind and spirit who was willing to champion minority causes.
“He will be sadly missed.”