Scottish politicians of all parties paid tribute to former Labour Chancellor, Alistair Darling, who died aged 70.

He served in several cabinet positions during Tony Blair’s government before becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer when Gordon Brown became Prime Minister.

He was Chancellor during the global banking crash in 2008 and, with Gordon Brown, had the job of charting the UK through the economic crisis.

Glasgow Times:

Leaders and senior figures across the political spectrum spoke of the ex-MP who was also head of the Better Together campaign during the 2014 independence referendum campaign.

He was described as a “principled and respected” politician by colleagues and opponents alike.

Humza Yousaf, First Minister, said: “I am deeply saddened at Alistair Darling’s passing. He dedicated his life to public service and was a giant of Scottish and UK politics.

“As Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair played a central role in stabilising the financial system after the banking crash, both at home and abroad.

 “I disagreed with Alistair on big political issues, but what is much more important is the courteous and respectful manner with which he conducted himself throughout his political career. He will be hugely missed from our public life.”

Glasgow Times:

Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour leader, said: “I am heartbroken at the news of the death of Alistair Darling and my thoughts are with his wife Maggie, his two children and all those who knew and loved him.

“Alistair was a giant of the Labour movement, a titanic force for good and a man I was proud to consider a friend and a mentor.

“From his time as Secretary of State for Scotland to being the Chancellor that led the UK through the financial crisis, Alistair Darling was dedicated to public service and improving the lives of those less fortunate.

“At a time of division for Scotland, Alistair led the Better Together campaign with kindness, intelligence and good humour – it was a job he did not want to do, but he believed he was doing a service for Scotland.”

Alistair Darling was chief secretary to the Treasury, Work and Pensions Secretary, Transport Secretary, Scottish Secretary and Trade and Industry Secretary under Tony Blair’s Premiership between 1997 and 2007.

Glasgow Times:

When Gordon Brown took over in 10 Downing Street he appointed Darling as Chancellor.

He took on a lead role as chairman of the Better Together campaign and went head-to-head with Alex Salmond in TV debates in the run-up to the 2014 vote.

He took up a seat in the House of Lords in 2015 but retired in 2020.

Glasgow Times:

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “Politicians of Alistair's calibre are rare, and my thoughts at this difficult time are with his family and friends.

“Here in Scotland, Alistair will be remembered for the principled stand he took over the question of independence.

“Despite criticism from within his own party, he became one of the key figures in the Better Together campaign, where he was able to draw political rivals together to oppose separatism.

“He represented Better Together in bitterly contested televised debates, where his calm and rational arguments helped deliver a resounding victory for the No side in 2014.”

Douglas Ross, Scottish Conservative leader said: “Alistair Darling was a distinguished parliamentarian who rightly earned widespread regard as a longstanding Edinburgh MP, as Secretary of State for Scotland and as Chancellor.

“Scotland owes him a particular debt of gratitude for his role as chairman of the Better Together campaign.”

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “The passing of Alistair Darling is a significant loss.

“His career was influential not just on Scottish and UK politics, but also on the global stage. As Chancellor, he took on a huge responsibility at a time of extraordinary crisis, and he earned respect which went far beyond his colleagues in the Labour Party."

Alistair Darling was married to his wife Margaret, and the couple had two children, Calum and Anna.