AFTER a two-year-long wait Lord David Steel of Aikwood has finally celebrated his retirement from the House of Lords.

On March 24, 2020 the former Liberal Democrat politician stepped down from the House of Lords – the same date as the 55th anniversary of his by-election on March 24, 2000.

However, due to the coronavirus lockdown which began that weekend, Lord Steel was unable to make his resignation speech.

Two years later, Lord Steel was able to celebrate his resignation at an all-party event hosted by the Lord Speaker on Wednesday, July 20.

The event was followed by a LibDem dinner in the Lords.

Joining Lord Steel at the event was be his wife Judy, their granddaughter Hannah – who was elected as the youngest member of Scottish Borders Council at the age of 22 in May – Lord Steel's successor as Borders MP Michael Moore and Scotland's former LibDem leader Willie Rennie.

The former Borders MP said of his retirement: "Am I sad at leaving?

"Yes, of course, but I made up my mind some time ago to leave at my 55th anniversary – and I shall miss many friends in all parties and the helpfulness of all the staff, especially those who man the digital helpline for technological Luddites such as me.

"I have had a very happy and fulfilled political life and am fortunate not only in my ever helpful wife Judy, but in my three children who are all married and live with our nine grandchildren within half an hour of our home.

"At 84 I do not miss the weekly travel to London."

The two toasts at the event were made by Lord Jim Wallace of Tankerness (the former leader of the LibDems in the Scottish Parliament) and Lord Menzies Campbell of Pittenweem – both of whom are long-standing friends of Lord Steel.

A total of 125 guests were expected to join Lord Steel's celebrations – 80 at the reception hosted by the Lord Speaker, and 45 at the LibDem dinner.