A “stalwart” Aberdeen councillor has died after a short illness.
Bridge of Don SNP member Sandy Stuart died on Wednesday evening at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary aged 68.
Colleagues and well-wishers, including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, paid tribute to the councillor, who had served his constituents since being elected in 2012.
His death means that two by-elections will now be held in Mr Stuart’s ward – following yesterday’s shock resignation of Conservative member Brett Hunt.
Educated at Hilton Junior School, Hilton Secondary and then Aberdeen College, Mr Stuart loved the Granite City and was married to former councillor Wendy Stuart.
After leaving school, he worked in his parents’ Donview Bar in the Bridge of Don, then became a plumber, a sales representative, and was also a taxi driver.
He was a huge football fan, a proud member of the Tartan Army, and that passion was the catalyst for his work in the community helping youngsters’ teams at the grassroots.
Ms Sturgeon tweeted that she was “so sorry to hear” of Mr Stuart’s death.
She wrote: “My thoughts are with Sandy’s family, friends and colleagues. He was a great stalwart indeed, for the SNP and the independence cause.”
SNP group leader, Stephen Flynn, said: “Sandy had a short, but hard-fought battle with illness and passed away peacefully in the company of his family.
“Our immediate thoughts are with Sandy’s wife, Wendy, and the entire family at this terribly difficult time.
“Sandy was so proud to serve his constituents in the Bridge of Don and to represent his city as a councillor for over seven years.
“We were privileged to call him a friend and colleague and we will all miss his passion and enthusiasm.”
Aberdeen Donside MSP Mark McDonald said: “Sandy was someone I had the pleasure of campaigning and working alongside over many years, and I know how passionate he was for his community, his city and his country.
“My thoughts are with his wife Wendy – another former council colleague – and his wider family at this time.”
Lord Provost Barney Crockett added that Mr Stuart was well liked and respected by councillors from all across the chamber and was renowned for his love of sport and sense of humour.