Stevenson pays tribute to Salmond

Alex Salmond, unveils a commemorative stone at Heriot-Watt University, as his last public duty as First Minister. Nov 18 2014
Alex Salmond, unveils a commemorative stone at Heriot-Watt University, as his last public duty as First Minister. Nov 18 2014

SNP MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast Stewart Stevenson has paid tribute to former First Minister Alex Salmond in a speech to mark the end of his time in office.

Mr Stevenson compared the outgoing First Minister to US President John F Kennedy as a man who was committed to a better future for his country and a “formidable challenger of the status quo”.

He added: “He’s the toughest boss I’ve ever worked with or for, and the fairest - a team builder.

“From day one he was a disruptive influence and a potent agent for change.”

Mr Stevenson, who has been a friend of the former party leader for the past 40 years, drew on personal anecdotes gleaned from Mr Salmond growing up in his home town of Linlithgow, his fervour in the lead up to the referendum, and his focus on the importance of people.

Mr Stevenson added: “If we learn anything from Alex it is that we must listen, perhaps especially to those with views differing from our own, however much we don’t want to hear them.”

But he stressed that the move for Mr Salmond was a transition rather than a farewell, wishing him well from political colleagues.