By Mark Wallace
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Mr McLetchie, who had long dreamed of representing the Conservative Party in his native Scotland, became one of the party's first MSPs in 1999, led his colleagues until 2005 and even after stepping down from the leadership continued to play a major role, including serving as Chief Whip. More recently, he sat on the Board of Better Together, campaigning against Scottish independence.
Ruth Davidson MSP, the current Scottish Conservative Leader, has paid tribute to him, saying:
“The dignity, courage and good humour with which David faced his illness was inspirational and his passing leaves a large hole in Scottish public life, in the Scottish Conservative Party and amongst those who were closest to him.
“First and foremost my deepest condolences go to his wife Sheila and their family. David had so much left to give and it is difficult to describe just what his loss at such a relatively young age means to all who knew him.”