Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, has paid tribute to First Minister Alex Salmond in a speech to mark the end of his time in office.
Mr Stevenson (pictured), compared the outgoing First Minister to US President John F. Kennedy as a man who was committed to a better future for his country and a “formidable challenger of the status quo”.
He said: “He’s the toughest boss I’ve ever worked with or for, and the fairest - a team builder.
“From day one he was a disruptive influence and a potent agent for change.”
Mr Stevenson, who has been a friend of the First Minister for the past 40 years, drew on personal anecdotes gleaned from Mr Salmond growing up in his home town of Linlithgow, his fervour in the lead up to the referendum, and his focus on the importance of people.
Mr Stevenson added: “If we learn anything from Alex it is that we must listen, perhaps especially to those with views differing from our own, however much we don’t want to hear them.”
But he stressed that the move for Mr Salmond was a transition rather than a farewell, wishing him good wishes, thanks and love from his political colleagues.