Sadness expressed at news of the death of Stephen Maxwell

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Scottish politics has reacted with sadness to news of the death of respected figure Stephen Maxwell.

Mr Maxwell came to prominence in the 1970s and stood for the leadership of the SNP in 1980, losing out to Gordon Wilson.

Expelled from the party in 1981 along with current leader and First Minister Alex Salmond for activities within the socialist 79 group, Mr Maxwell was later readmitted.

He remained committed to Scottish independence.

Commenting online, the Scottish Government’s Minister for Culture Mike Russell said: “So sad about Stephen Maxwell: over 30 years of knowing him he was always an intellectual force for national good. Scotland is the poorer.”

Political commentator and journalist David Torrance said: “Very sad news about the death of SNP stalwart Stephen Maxwell.  He was a historian’s dream, giving willingly of time, papers and insight.”