Glasgow & West Scotland

Glasgow councillor Alistair Watson found dead at his home

Alistair Watson Image copyright Glasgow City Council

Tributes have been paid to a Glasgow councillor and "towering figure" in local politics who has died aged 59.

Labour councillor and former train driver Alistair Watson died suddenly at his home on Wednesday evening.

It follows the death of the council's former Depute Lord Provost, Gerry Leonard, earlier this week.

The Labour group leader on Glasgow City Council, Frank McAveety, said Mr Watson was a "champion for the people" and a "loyal friend".

Mr Watson had been the councillor for Cardonald for 22 years, working most recently as the former Labour administration's business manager.

He also served as convener of the council's Land and Environmental Services Committee and was a former chair of the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said his death was a "shock to the Labour family".

"Alistair Watson worked for his community and the Labour Party tirelessly," she said.

"Glasgow Labour has lost a giant and the city of Glasgow has lost a passionate advocate."

'Compassionate man'

Mr McAveety said: "The city has lost a major political figure. He was a shrewd politician and a champion for the people of Cardonald.

"On a personal level, I have lost a loyal friend. The Labour Party and family has lost a crusader who was always fizzing with ideas."

He added that Mr Watson had been an "approachable, decent and compassionate man who made a real difference".

The council said Mr Watson had been a life-long Aslef member and trade unionist whose background in transport had "fuelled his passion" for projects like Glasgow Crossrail and the city's airport rail link.

Lord Provost Eva Bolander said: "Alistair was a towering figure, physically and politically. An astute and seasoned politician.

"He had a significant and hugely influential role in local politics. My condolences go to his family."

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