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First Minister leads tributes to Scots ice-cream boss Maitland Mackie

First Minister Alex Salmond has led tributes to the chairman of the Mackie's ice cream company, who has died after a short illness

First Minister Alex Salmond has led tributes to the chairman of the Mackie's ice cream company, who has died after a short illness

Dr Maitland Mackie, the owner of the family firm, was rector of Aberdeen University and a former vice-president of the National Farmers' Union in Scotland.

He was a Liberal ­Democrat candidate in the first Scottish Parliament elections in 1999, topping the party list for the North East region.

But after the party won three constituency seats in the area, he failed to make it to Holyrood.

Mr Salmond said: ­"Maitland brought wit, colour and energy to everything he did.

"His highly successful company made him one of the best-known business figures in the north east and beyond, but his interests extended further than that."

Others paid tribute to Dr Mackie, who was in his seventies.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said he was "very much the driving force in making Mackie's such a household name".

He added: "He was always jovial, good humoured and good company. We will all miss the ice cream vouchers and bags of crisps he took with him everywhere he went."

LibDem leader Willie Rennie said:"His great success in business and ­agriculture made the family name a favourite in most freezers but I will remember him for his great intelligence, drive and charm."

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said: "I don't believe that Maitland Mackie ever gave less than 100% to anything he did in life."

Professor Sir Ian Diamond, principal and ­vice-chancellor of Aberdeen University, said staff were deeply saddened to learn of Mr Mackie's death.

He described him as an extremely popular rector who would be remembered with great fondness.

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