LORD Smith is undergoing tests in hospital after he collapsed from a suspected heart attack at a dinner hosted by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
The peer, who led the Smith Commission – the post-referendum discussions on further powers for Holyrood – was dining with Scottish business leaders at Bute House, the First Minister’s official residence, when he took ill.
A waitress working at the event, who is studying to be a nurse, is believed to have revived him after he became unwell at the dinner on Tuesday night.
It is understood she tended to the peer and gave him first aid treatment until paramedics arrived. Lord Smith is recovering in hospital in Edinburgh where he is said to be undergoing further tests.
Photographs showed Ms Sturgeon’s husband, Peter Murrell, the SNP chief executive, watching from the steps of Bute House as Glasgow-born Lord Smith, 71, was taken away by ambulance.
An insider at Bute House was reported to have said: “Luckily one of the waitresses was a student nurse working at her part-time job with the caterers. She was able to step in and help until the paramedics arrived to take over.”
A spokesman for the peer said: “Lord Smith fell ill at a dinner in Bute House on Tuesday night. He was taken to hospital where he remains while some tests are carried out.
“He is recovering and thanks the staff at the NHS and Bute House for all their help.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The First Minister hosted a dinner at Bute House on Tuesday night.
“A guest attending the dinner took ill and an ambulance was called. Paramedics transferred the guest to hospital, and we wish them the very best.”
Lord Smith served as chairman of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games organising committee, after a distinguished business career, which included roles as chairman of Forth Ports and the Green Investment Bank and a stint as Scottish governor of the BBC.
He is currently chairman of energy company SSE, a role he is set to relinquish at the turn of the year.
He is also in charge of leading Clyde Gateway to deliver the Commonwealth Games legacy.
He was appointed by Prime Minister David Cameron to deliver a package of recommendations for further Scottish devolution immediately after last September’s referendum – a package that Ms Sturgeon described as having fallen short “in almost every area”.
The recommendations included giving Scotland the power to set income tax rates, but critics said they did not deliver in many areas, specifically on welfare and the bedroom tax.
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