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by Louise Wilson
12 April 2021
Party leaders pay tribute to Prince Philip

MSPs took part in a minute of silence

Party leaders pay tribute to Prince Philip

The First Minister has passed her “deepest sympathies” to the Queen as the party leaders gathered to pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh following his death last week.

Nicola Sturgeon praised the “strength of the partnership” between the Queen and Prince Philip, as well as his advocacy for conservation projects and the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.

She said: “He was a thoughtful man, deeply interesting and fiercely intelligent. He was also a serious bookworm, which I am too so talking about the books we were reading was often, for me, a real highlight of our conversations.”

She added: “It is right that our parliament pays tribute to him today. In doing so, we mourn his passing and we extend our deepest sympathy to Her Majesty the Queen and her family.

“We reflect on his distinguished wartime record, his love and support for the Queen, and his decades of public service to Scotland, the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.”

The Scottish Parliament was recalled for the sixth time in its history to speak to the motion of condolence.

The Scottish Conservative leader at Holyrood, Ruth Davidson, said the Duke was the “palace moderniser” and also praised his demonstration of how to be a “supportive husband to a powerful woman”.

She said: “In a life that could so easily have been one shallow wave, a ribbon cut, a couple of public remarks before on to the next engagement, he demonstrated a huge commitment to the organisations he championed.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar particularly praised the benefits of the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme set up by Prince Philip.

He said: “There are millions of other young people from all walks of life who are reaching their full potential thanks to the Duke of Edinburgh award, from the Prince’s own school in Gordonstoun, to Drumchapel High School and right across the UK and the world.”

And Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie added: “In Scotland alone, 20,000 started the programme last year, 11,000 achieved awards in that year. The reach is astonishing. It was the Duke of Edinburgh’s inspiration all those years ago and it has blossomed under his leadership, changing lives forever.”

Anti-royalist Scottish Green’s co-leader Patrick Harvie also took part in the session, saying it would be “wrong to imply by our absence any kind of personal disrespect to those who have lost someone important to them.”

He added: “Today is a moment to extend our thoughts to Prince Philip’s family, and to all those who are grieving for their loved ones in a spirit of respect for the equal value of every human life.”

Read the most recent article written by Louise Wilson - Gordon Brown: Use time before indyref2 to push for constitutional change

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