Alister Jack leads tributes to 'huge figure' Alistair Darling

Alistair Darling was an influential figure in British politics. Credit: PA

Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack has led tributes to Alastair Darling.

The former chancellor and Labour politician died at the age of 70.

The long-serving MP spent time in hospital being treated for cancer, his family said in a statement.

Mr Darling served as chancellor under Gordon Brown during the 2008 financial crisis, and led the Better Together campaign ahead of the Scottish independence referendum in 2014.

Alister Jack praised the former politician.

He said: "Alistair Darling was a huge figure in British politics, holding key UK Government positions – including Secretary of State for Scotland – and he was Chancellor at a tumultuous time.

“He was at the centre of Britain's response to the 2007-2008 global financial crisis, and the bail-out of Royal Bank of Scotland. His candour then was much admired by the public.

“Here in Scotland, Alistair will be remembered for the principled stand he took over the question of independence. Despite criticism from within his own party, he became one of the key figures in the Better Together campaign, where he was able to draw political rivals together to oppose separatism.

“He represented Better Together in bitterly contested televised debates, where his calm and rational arguments helped deliver a resounding victory for the No side in 2014.

“Politicians of Alistair's calibre are rare, and my thoughts at this difficult time are with his family and friends.”

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