Former UK finance minister Alistair Darling dies aged 70

Alistair Darling, the UK finance minister when the 2008 financial crisis hit, has died at the age of 70 following a “short spell” in hospital, his family said on Thursday.

“The death of Alistair Darling, a former chancellor of the exchequer and long-serving member of the Labour cabinet, was announced in Edinburgh today,” said a statement issued on behalf of his family.

Darling died “after a short spell in Western General Hospital under the wonderful care of the cancer team”, it added.

The Labour politician served as finance minister between 2007 and 2010 under the leadership of Gordon Brown, steering the country through the financial crisis and resulting recession.

Paying tribute to Darling, Brown wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that “I, like many relied on his wisdom, calmness in a crisis and his humour.

“I send my deepest condolences to his loving wife Maggie and their children Calum and Anna. He will be missed by all who knew him.”

Current Labour leader Keir Starmer said he was “deeply saddened” by the news.

“Alistair lived a life devoted to public service. He will be remembered as the chancellor whose calm expertise and honesty helped to guide Britain through the tumult of the global financial crisis,” Starmer said.

Darling entered parliament in 1987 and saw his political career flourish after Labour swept to power in 1997 under the leadership of Tony Blair.

He was also one of the directors of the successful campaign for a “No” vote in the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence, and campaigned for the UK to remain in the European Union in 2016.


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