Scots lose a veteran nationalist

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(First Edition)

DONALD STEWART, the Scottish National Party's longest-serving MP, died yesterday, aged 71, at Lewis hospital, Stornoway, following a heart attack a week ago.

Mr Stewart was elected MP for the Western Isles at the 1970 general election, a position he held until he retired in 1987. He was president of the SNP from 1982 to 1987 and parliamentary leader from 1974 to 1987. He was appointed a privy councillor in 1977.

Alex Salmond, the SNP leader, said: 'Donnie Stewart achieved the rare distinction of being universally respected by political friend and foe alike.'

Winnie Ewing, the SNP president and MEP for the Highlands and Islands, described Mr Stewart as 'the noblest Scotsman of our time'.

Gordon Wilson, a former SNP leader, said Scotland had lost a great and good man.

John Smith, the Labour leader, said Mr Stewart was a man of 'courtesy, charm and commitment' who would be much missed by friends in all political parties.

He leaves a widow, Chrissie.