A former Highland MP and member of the north-east’s famous Mackie family has died aged 95.
Lord George Mackie of Benshie was born in 1919 at Tarves on the family farm run by his father Maitland Mackie, the first of four generations to build what is now the Mackie’s of Scotland ice cream brand.
He served in Bomber Command during World War II and subsequently took over a farm at Benshie, in Angus, and set up a cattle ranch at Braeroy near Spean Bridge.
Having stood unsuccessfully in South Angus in 1959, Lord Mackie was elected as MP for Caithness and Sutherland in 1964, where he had set up the Caithness Glass company and ran a hotel.
He only lasted two years as an MP, after Harold Wilson called a snap election, but went on to serve as chairman and president of the Scottish Liberal Party, before being made a peer in 1976.
His brother John Mackie was a Labour MP, representing Enfield East and serving as a minister in the agriculture department between 1964 and 1970.
Lord Mackie’s death follows that of his nephew, Maitland Mackie, who was chairman of the ice cream business and died last May, aged 76.
Sir Malcolm Bruce, Gordon MP and deputy Liberal Democrat leader, paid tribute to the former Dundee University rector last night.
“George was a great character and sincere Liberal, both as an MP and a peer,” he said.
“George had a great sense of humour and a great sense of fun.
“His passing is sad, particularly as it comes within a year of his nephew Maitland.
“The Mackie family have been big in farming and food in Aberdeenshire, although George had his own farm, Benshie, in Angus. He will be greatly missed.”