Sir David Russell Johnston

(Lord Russell-Johnston of Minginish)

1932 - 2008

Lord Russell Johnston
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Lord Russell Johnston

Politician. Born in Minginish (Skye), Russell Johnston was educated in Carbost, Portree and at the University of Edinburgh. Following National Service, he trained as a teacher at Moray House College of Education and taught for two years at Liberton Secondary School in Edinburgh. He was elected as Liberal Member of Parliament for Inverness (1964), which became Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber in 1983. He was one of the first politicians to propose a revived Scottish Parliament, introducing a Private Member's Bill with this aim in 1966.

Russell Johnston was successively Chairman (1970-4) and Leader (1974-88) of the Scottish Liberal Party, President of the Scottish Liberal Democrats (1988-94) and Deputy-Leader of the UK Liberal Democrats (1988-92). He maintained interests in East-West relations and European integration. After leaving parliament in 1997, Russell Johnston served as a member of the Assembly of the Western European Union, concerned with mutual defence in Europe, and as President of the Council of Europe (1999 - 2002).

Russell Johnston was knighted in 1985 and raised to a life peerage in 1997, at which time he linked his original first and surnames to become Lord Russell-Johnston of Minginish.

He died while visiting Paris and his ashes were scattered in Skye.

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