Ex-deputy lord provost Marion Morton dies at 78

Marion Morton in 2000. Picture: Katie Lee
Marion Morton in 2000. Picture: Katie Lee
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FRIENDS and colleagues today paid tribute to a former deputy lord provost after she died at the age of 78.

Marion Morton, who served under Eric Milligan during his stint as the Capital’s civic leader, was understood to have been battling cancer.

The former Fountainbridge Labour councillor, who lived in Trinity with her minister husband Andrew, died last Wednesday.

Councillor Milligan, who served as lord provost from 1996 until 2003, led the tributes, remembering his former deputy “with great fondness”.

Mrs Morton was first 
elected to the council as Labour member for Fountainbridge in 1995, having been a teacher since 1957.

Three years later, she became city licensing convener and later took charge of the council’s race equality sub-committee, which was set up in the wake of the Stephen Lawrence murder inquiry.

Cllr Milligan, Labour member for Sighthill/Gorgie, said: “Marion was my deputy and stood in for me on occasions. I had no hesitation about this as I knew Marion’s warm personality, intelligence and willingness to do a good job would be recognised.

“I am sorry to hear of Marion’s passing and I will remember her with great fondness.”

Educated at the University of Glasgow, Mrs Morton taught at a number of schools, beginning her career at Eastwood Senior Secondary in Renfrewshire. She also worked in London, as head of English at Charles Edward Brooke Grammar School and Rowan High School.

Away from work, Mrs Morton was a member of the Quakers in Edinburgh, serving in many positions over the years.

Alan Davies, a spokesman for the Edinburgh Quakers, said: “Marion was a Quaker of many years’ standing. She went out of her way to make visitors feel welcome.

“At various times she served Quakerism as elder, overseer, clerk of the area meeting and clerk of the general meeting for Scotland. She was what is sometimes referred to as a seasoned friend, well-versed in Quaker thought and practice and will be much missed.”

Mrs Morton stunned colleagues in 2003 when she announced she would not be standing for re-election.

Mark Lazarowicz, MP for Edinburgh North and Leith, said: “It was sad to hear the news of the death of Marion Morton. Strongly committed to her constituents and to public service, she was always kind, courteous, and considerate but also firm in her views and principles.”

A celebration of Mrs Morton’s life takes place on Saturday at 1pm in the Lorimer Chapel at Warriston Crematorium.