Tributes as journalist Macleod dies

Leading figures from the fields of politics and media have paid tribute to Angus Macleod, the Times Scottish editor, who died this week after a short illness.

Mr Macleod, 63, was being treated for cancer at Gartnavel Hospital in Glasgow.

He was an award-winning writer and well-known broadcaster who regularly contributed to BBC political programmes.

His death has been described as a “huge loss to journalism”.

Scotland Secretary Alistair Carmichael said: “The passing of Angus Macleod is sad news. My thoughts and sympathies are with his family and his many friends.

“His passing will leave an enormous void in their lives and the lives of everyone with an interest in Scottish politics and public life.

“Angus was a journalist of the old school. He was a real inquisitor. His knowledge of our politics was matched by very few.

“Every politician knew a call from Angus would bring searching questions which would demand an answer. It was, however, never an unwelcome call.

“He was a true gentleman who brought an authentic Highland flavour to our politics. He will be missed.”

Former chancellor and leader of the Better Together campaign Alistair Darling said: “Angus was a gentleman in every sense of the word. He is a huge loss to journalism.

“Our thoughts are with his family.”

Many expressed their thoughts on Twitter.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon ‏described him as “a journalist of the old school and undoubtedly one of the best. Rest in peace”.

First Minister Alex Salmond wrote: “Saddened to hear Angus Macleod has passed away. A thoughtful and insightful journalist who will be missed right across the political divide.”

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said: “ Just turned on Twitter and learned of the passing of Angus Macleod. Incredibly sad. He was wonderful and irascible in almost equal measure.”

An article in The Times today described Mr Macleod as a “hugely respected journalist” and “one of the most acute observers of the Scottish and UK political scenes”.

It said: “He was loved by his staff as a fair-minded and enthusiastic editor with an extraordinary gift for identifying the heart of any news story.

“His unfailing generosity and encouragement inspired scores of colleagues and young journalists.”

It added: “His loss to journalism and to Scottish society will be keenly felt.”

Mr Macleod started his career as a trainee with Thomson Regional Newspapers after graduating from Edinburgh University.

He joined The Scotsman in 1974 and worked for several newspapers in Scotland before joining The Times as Scottish political correspondent in August 2001.

He became political editor, Scotland in May 2004 and Scottish editor in May 2013.

In a note to staff Craig Tregurtha, group managing editor of The Times and The Sunday Times, said: “Angus Macleod’s infectious love of newspapers, of the role of The Times in modern British life, of Scottish politics and of the native spirit north of the border, marked him out as a remarkable journalist. His generosity, warmth of character and delight in the new marked him out as a remarkable man. He will be sadly missed by all of us.”

Lindsay McIntosh, Scottish political editor for The Times, said: “Angus was highly respected across all of Scottish society and nowhere more so than at the offices of The Times, where he was also dearly loved. He enthusiastically encouraged his colleagues, whatever their talents or experience, and was generous with his advice both on politics and reporting.

“Angus firmly believed that the mission of a journalist was to hold authority to account and this he did unflinchingly throughout his career. In the final year of his life, when the independence issue dominated Scotland, he remained utterly committed to that mission.”

This article was previously published on the Stornoway Gazette website on October 8th (http://www.stornowaygazette.co.uk/news/scottish-headlines/tributes-as-journalist-macleod-dies-1-3566279)