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In quotes: Jimmy Reid tributes


Former Glasgow shipyard union leader Jimmy Reid has died at the age of 78.

The one-time communist turned Labour candidate led a successful work-in at the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders (UCS) in 1971 which thwarted the Tory government's attempts to close the yards.

Here, figures from across Scotland and the UK pay tribute to Mr Reid's life.

Gordon Brown, former prime minister

Jimmy will always be remembered for the inspired and disciplined way he fought for the shipyard industry and the fact there is still a shipbuilding industry in Scotland today is in large measure because of the inspirational campaigns that he waged.

Nicola Sturgeon, SNP MSP for Govan

Jimmy Reid is a name that will always ring out proudly in Govan. Jimmy was a Clydeside legend who in no small way is to thank for the fact we still have shipyards at Govan and Scotstoun. People here had great affection for Jimmy Reid, he belonged to Govan and will be greatly missed.

Gus Macdonald, Baron Macdonald of Tradeston

Widely-read with a huge circle of friends and admirers, Jimmy addressed everyone as an equal. Always direct and humorous, even his most forceful opinions were considered and humane. The people of Scotland have lost a great champion.

Matt Smith, UNISON Scottish Secretary

Jimmy Reid, and the others of the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders shop stewards' committee, showed what ordinary people can do to change their lives and the lives of many others for the better. They inspired countless others over the years.

Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary

Jimmy's life as a trade union and political activist, University Chancellor and latterly as a journalist and broadcaster revealed his many outstanding skills as a provocative, thoughtful and intelligent campaigner and commentator.

Alex Salmond, first minister of Scotland

Jimmy Reid was Clyde-built. He has been Scotland's great rallying figure over the last four decades, and was one of the few Scottish political figures who can genuinely say that they provoked real change for the better in society.

Bob Thomson, former Scottish Labour Party chairman

A self-taught intellectual and philosopher, he did not curry favour or seek self-advancement. He told the truth, often at great cost to himself.

Iain Gray, Scottish Labour leader

Jimmy walked a long path from the Communist Party of his youth to Labour socialism and his own pragmatic view of Scottish autonomy. His politics remained forever rooted in his experience of the horror and rank injustice of poverty in Glasgow in the 1930s.

Tony Benn, former MP and Labour minister

He built a really powerful and proud and self-confident group of people who decided to take over the yard and make it work.

More on this story

  • Union stalwart Reid backs the SNP