FORMER Renfrewshire councillor and MSP Bruce McFee has died at the age of 60.

Bruce served as a councillor for the Johnstone North, Kilbarchan and Lochwinnoch ward for many years and led the SNP group, either side of being an MSP for the West of Scotland between 2003 and 2007.

As well as becoming a well-respected politician, he brought a revolutionary Russian therapy known as Advanced Bio-Mechanical Rehabilitation (ABR) to the UK for children with cerebral palsy after caring for his son Marten, who battled with the condition until his tragic death in 2015 at the age of four.

Bruce – who lived in Kilbarchan – tragically suffered a stroke in March 2019 and has been in full-time care ever since. He passed away at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley.

Tributes have flooded in from politicians across the country including former First Minister Alex Salmond, who described him as a”doughty campaigner” for independence.

Mr Salmond tweeted: “Sad to hear of the passing today of Bruce McFee, a fine councillor and MSP, and a doughty campaigner for Scottish independence.”

Councillor Andy Doig, who Bruce worked for as an election agent, described him as a “giant of Renfrewshire politics”.

He said: “I will dearly miss his friendship, his political counsel, and the humour we used to share while out and about on the campaign trail, mainly at my expense I might add.

“Bruce was a giant of Renfrewshire politics. He was dearly loved by the people of Kilbarchan and this was shown at the 1999 Renfrewshire Council elections when he gained 71 per cent of the vote in the village – the highest in Renfrewshire of any candidate that year.”

Labour West of Scotland MSP Neil Bibby tweeted: “Sad to hear that Bruce McFee has passed away.

“He served the people of Kilbarchan well for nearly a quarter of a century as a Councilor and an MSP. My thoughts are with his family at this time.”