Figures from across the political spectrum – past and present – came to pay their respects to Tam Dalyell, who was described as a “one-off” and an “extraordinary character”.
A memorial service was held for former Linlithgow and West Lothian MP at St Michael’s Parish Church on Friday.
The man known for raising the “West Lothian Question” and being an MP for 43 years passed away on January 26 aged 84 after a short illness.
Amongst the names to attend were former Labour MP Alistair Darling, Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell, former leader of Liberal Democrats Menzies Campbell, former Secretary General of Nato George Robertson, SNP minister Fiona Hyslop, Labour MSP Neil Findlay and many others.
Mr Findlay said: “It was a very fitting tribute to Tam. There were people from all walks of life there and the people who spoke captured all the elements of Tam’s life.
“It was a very uplifting occasion, celebrating the remarkable life of a remarkable man.”
Tributes in the service were led by Lord Peter Hennessy of Nympsfield, he said: “Tam was always candid and he expected others to be too.
He added: “He was United Kingdom’s man, Scotland’s man and Labour’s man ... how lucky we are to have known him.”
Former Labour MP Brian Wilson said, “he was a master practitioner of political debate,” and that he would miss Tam’s phone calls at 7am in the morning.
Tam represented West Lothian from 1962 to 1983, then Linlithgow from 1983 to 2005 at Westminster.
In 1963, he married Kathleen, the elder daughter of the late Baron Wheatley, one-time Lord Advocate and a former Labour MP for East Edinburgh. They have a son and a daughter.
He was Father of the House Commons and deeply respected and admired from all sides of the political divide.
James Naughtie, presenter on BBC Radio 4 who was introduced to Tam as a young reporter, said: “It was a memorial service that was full of humour and people felt a month on they could be funny and wry as well as exemplifying Tam’s commitment, ardour and his friendship.
“They could poke fun at his memory as well – in the nicest possible way – as someone we all knew as a heck of a character.”