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Death of Scottish Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone

Mr Johnstone – who represented the North East of Scotland in an unbroken record of service going back to the formation of the Parliament in 1999, has passed away after a short illness.

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Alex Johnstone, the Scottish Conservative MSP, has died at the age of 55.

Mr Johnstone – who represented the North East of Scotland in an unbroken record of service going back to the formation of the Parliament in 1999 – passed away after a short illness.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson led tributes to Mr Johnstone, saying he “embodied politics at its best”.

Born in Kincardineshire in 1961 and educated at Mackie Academy in Stonehaven, Mr Johnstone spent his entire life in the north east of Scotland, where he built a successful career as a self-employed dairy and arable farmer.

Elected at the age of 38, he immediately brought his considerable experience in Scotland’s rural economy to the parliament, initially as its first ever convener of the rural development committee.

In 2001, he was appointed as the Scottish Conservatives’ chief whip and business manager, serving on the Parliament’s business bureau.

In the last parliament, he served on the Parliament’s welfare reform committee. He was also appointed the party’s spokesman for infrastructure, housing and transport, a role he continued after May’s election.

Offering condolences to Ruth Davidson and her team on the sudden death of Mr Johnstone, Mary Taylor, SFHA Chief Executive said,

“Alex was well known to us in the housing association world, as the Scottish Conservatives’ housing spokesman, a regular political panellist at conferences and hustings and in committees. 

“Even though we didn’t always agree on particular issues, we all recognised him as  a committed and feisty debater with good knowledge of housing issues, and acknowledge his respect for other views.  

“Please convey our condolences to his family and immediate colleagues.”