A VETERAN of the SNP for more than 35 years has raised thousands of pounds for charity after a remarkable recovery from a stroke.

Councillor Peter Johnston, the SNP Leader on West Lothian Council, and his wife Christine last year spent their wedding anniversary in St John’s Hospital, Livingston after he was admitted as an emergency.

His family were told to expect the worst, but Johnston astounded medics with his determination and this year the couple’s anniversary celebrations raised almost £3000 for the intensive care unit at Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital and the stroke ward at St John’s.

Johnstone has served the SNP, constituents and the health service for 35 years as leader of West Lothian Council, vice convener for local government and Cosla health and care spokesperson, as well as serving on the local NHS board.

He said: “It was great to thank the wonderful doctors and nurses at both St John’s hospital and the Western General who saved my life and supported me to recover through a very traumatic journey.

“Our NHS in Scotland is one to be proud of. Recovery is possible, with a bit of understanding and support.”