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Scottish Parliament to be recalled on Monday after death of Prince Philip

The Scottish Parliament is to be recalled on Monday following the death of Prince Philip.

It is understood political leaders will express their condolences during the session.

Scotland’s major parties had already suspended their campaigning for the Holyrood election.

Sources said campaigning is expected to resume at some point on Monday.

The Duke of Edinburgh, 99, was the longest-serving consort in British history.

The duke and the Queen were married for more than 70 years and Philip dedicated decades of his life to royal duty, serving the nation at the monarch’s side.

He officially retired from public engagements in the summer of 2017.

The death of the duke comes in the midst of the worst public health crisis for generations as the UK and countries around the globe reel from the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Philip had returned to Windsor Castle on March 16 to be reunited with the Queen after spending a month in hospital – his longest ever stay.

He initially received care for an infection but then underwent heart surgery for a pre-existing condition.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was among those paying tribute in Scotland.

She said in a statement: “On behalf of the people of Scotland, I would like to express my deepest sympathy to Her Majesty The Queen and the rest of the royal family.

“Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time and their grief is shared by people across the country.

“The Duke of Edinburgh had deep and longstanding ties to Scotland, attending school here at Gordonstoun and regularly holidaying at Balmoral Castle.

“From his patronage of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme, to his close association with the University of Edinburgh as chancellor for over 50 years and his commitments to countless charities and organisations, Prince Philip’s long contribution to public life in Scotland will leave a profound mark on its people.”

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said: “In the middle of a political campaign, this is a reminder of what’s most important in life.

“We have lost a tremendous public servant who for decades served his Queen and country. My heartfelt condolences are with Her Majesty and all of the royal family.

“This is not the time for political campaigning. It is a time for national mourning.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar offered his party’s sympathies: “Scotland is today mourning the loss of a dedicated public servant who contributed so much to our country.

“My thoughts are with the entire royal family and Her Majesty the Queen, following the death of her beloved husband.”

Former prime minister Gordon Brown said Prince Philip would be “mourned in every continent”.

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “We recognise that the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh will be felt deeply by some across the country and express our sympathies with his family, who join many others who have lost loved ones in this last year.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said Philip had “99 years of an outstanding life and 70 years of astonishing service”.

He said the duke was “often colourful” with “often controversial language”, but was “always absolutely dedicated to his wife the Queen and to the country”.

Former first minister and Alba Party leader Alex Salmond praised Philip’s service to the UK: “On behalf of the Alba Party, my condolences go to Her Majesty the Queen. The Duke of Edinburgh was the longest serving consort in history and no-one can question that record of public service.”

He added: “On a personal level, I found Prince Philip direct and forthright but always welcoming and with a fine, enquiring mind.”

Holyrood parties halted their campaigns today as a mark of respect for the Duke of Edinburgh.

Next week is a crucial time in the campaign as a number of parties are due to publish their manifestos.

An STV leaders’ debate is also scheduled for Tuesday and door-to-door canvassing will be allowed across Scotland.



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