A SERVICE of thanksgiving for the life of SNP deputy leader Dr Allan Macartney, who died last week, was held on Saturday at St Machar's Cathedral in Aberdeen, writes Keith Sinclair.

Party leader Alex Salmond joined Dr Macartney's widow Anne, their three children, and hundreds of mourners.

Dr Macartney, who was 57, collapsed and died at his Aberdeen home on Tuesday.

His death robbed him of his dream of seeing the opening of the first Scottish Parliament in almost 300 years.

The high esteem in which he was held was reflected in broad spectrum of political colleagues and rivals at the service, which was held in the church where he was an elder.

Scottish Rural Affairs Minister Lord Sewel was among the congregation, as was Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Jim Wallace.

SNP President Dr Winnie Ewing and Roseanna Cunningham, the Perth and Kinross MP, were among party members at the service.