Sir William Macpherson of Cluny and Blairgowrie, who led the report into the Metropolitan Police after the murder of Stephen Lawrence, has passed away aged 94.

Sir William was a judge at the High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division, and responsible for producing the Macpherson Report on the racially-motivated killing of Stephen Lawrence in 1993.

His report found that the police investigation had been "marred by a combination of professional incompetence, institutional racism and failure of leadership."Despite controversy, his findings were upheld.

The Clan Macpherson Association - of which Sir William was the 27th chief - announced the news on their page, hailing his presence and leadership.

The statement read: "I am saddened to have to bear the news that our 27th Chief, Sir William Macpherson of Cluny and Blairgowrie – 'Cluny' to us all - died peacefully at home on the 14 February, surrounded by his family.

"We were fortunate to have had his guidance, support and leadership for an incredible 50 years and the world will have benefited from his 94 years on this earth.

"His phrase "first amongst equals" doesn't even start to mark the presence he had. Through his work in law (what better epitaph could someone wish for that the phrase used by an interviewer "He made Britain a better place for me to live") to his leadership at the after-ceilidh-ceilidh he was a man who left his mark on those he met.

"To his son Jamie and daughter Annie, their families and Lady Hilary we offer our condolences and to him thanks for being part of his life. May he rest in peace."

Sir William was the 27th hereditary chief of the Clan Macpherson of Cluny (Cluny-Macpherson), celebrating his 50th year as Chief on the 18th of June 2019.

According to the clan association he was educated at Summer Fields, Oxford; Wellington College, Berkshire; and Trinity College, Oxford.

They added that during the period 1944-1947, Sir William served in the Scots Guards, transferring to the 21st Special Air Service Regiment (Territorial Army) with whom he served until 1965. He has served as the Honorary Colonel of the 21st SAS since 1983.

The statement continued: "In 1962 Sir William married Sheila McDonald Brodie. They have three children: Annie, the late Alan Thomas (younger of Cluny) and James Brodie (Tanistair of the House of Cluny-Macpherson).

"The family's home is Newton Castle, Blairgowrie, Perthshire. Blairgowrie has been the home of the Macphersons since 1787, when it was purchased by James "Ossian" Macpherson as the agent for Cluny's ancestor.

"Sir William was a Judge of the High Court of England and Wales (Queen's Bench Division) where he served as Presiding Judge of the Northern Circuit until his retirement in April 1996. Before his appointment as a judge, Sir William was a Queen's Counsel practising in London and abroad." 

Tributes have been paid to Sir William, hailing his "immense contribution".

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: "Very sorry to hear of the death of my constituent, Sir William Macpherson, distinguished High Court judge, who led the Inquiry into the Stephen Lawrence case.

"The challenge, rigour and humanity of his report was a product of who he was. He did much good locally in Blairgowrie."

MP for Perth and North Perthsire Pete Wishart said: "So sad to hear of the death of Sir William Macpherson.

"Sir William led the Macpherson report into the death of Stephen Lawrence that transformed issues around racism in the met police force.

"In Blairgowrie he’ll just be remembered for his immense contribution to the community."