Tributes to be paid to campaigner Gordon Aikman at Holyrood

A Scottish Government motion will recognise the "outstanding contribution" Gordon Aikman made to improving care, services and research for MND. Picture; PA
A Scottish Government motion will recognise the "outstanding contribution" Gordon Aikman made to improving care, services and research for MND. Picture; PA
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MSPs will pay tribute to motor neurone disease (MND) campaigner Gordon Aikman as his legacy is remembered at Holyrood.

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A Scottish Government motion calls on the Parliament to recognise the “outstanding contribution” he made to improving care, services and research for the condition.

The debate follows the funeral of the 31-year-old, who died earlier this month after being diagnosed with MND in 2014.

The motion put forward by Health Secretary Shona Robison states that the Parliament “pays tribute to his work to raise awareness of MND and the challenges faced by those who live with debilitating neurological conditions; recognises the many committed individuals who continue to work on improving quality of life for people who live with MND, and believes that the legacy of Gordon’s Fightback campaign will bring benefit and comfort to the lives of people with MND, and their loved ones, for many years to come”.

Mr Aikman, from Kirkcaldy in Fife, raised more than £500,000 for research to help find a cure for the condition, successfully lobbied for the number of MND nurses to be doubled and led a campaign to ensure people at risk of losing their voice as a result of a medical condition can access voice equipment on the NHS.

He received a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2015 and an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburgh in the same year for his work to transform care for people with MND and his efforts to find a cure.

At a funeral service held last Saturday in Edinburgh, Mr Aikman was hailed as a ‘’hero’’ who faced up to his disease with ‘’incredible courage and dignity’’.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, former prime minister Gordon Brown and Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale were among hundreds who attended to pay their respects.