Finlay has paid tribute to Sir Alex Fergusson, his predecessor as MSP for Galloway and West Dumfries and who was also the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament from 2007-2011.
Finlay counted Sir Alex as a true friend, and had warm words for his tireless work for his rural constituency.
He said: “First, and foremost Alex was a great friend. I can’t underestimate the influence he made to my career over the years that I knew him.”
“He was a true gentleman, passionately standing up for his home constituency of Galloway and West Dumfries.”
“ Even in retirement he worked tirelessly with many organisations across the region, with a particular interest in the Campaign for a Galloway National Park and Galloway Glens Project.”
“The number of people who regularly asked after Alex and told me how he had helped them is testament to the love and respect in which he was held across the region, a respect and love that surpassed party politics”
“Alex will be greatly missed in both the private and public lives of people right across Scotland.”