Graeme Littlejohn has been working for Scottish Liberal Democrats in various capacities for the better part of five years. He started off as an intern, and then worked for Tavish Scott, George Lyon and latterly was also the Scottish Liberal Democrats' Director of Communications. It was in this latter role that I constantly teased him about how sinister he looked, lurking in the shadow while senior party figures took to the public stage. I christened him the Minister for Sinister, a name I feel he (not so) secretly liked.
I first worked with him on the Glenrothes by-election in 2008. That campaign was full of great fun as well as hard work. I used to fear for my life, though, as Graeme and the others played darts behind my head to give themselves a much needed break. And don't even mention the incident with the packing tape...
I've since worked with him on Westminster, Scottish, European and local elections. He's been a key player in the team that's kept us punching above our weight in Holyrood in the last couple of years. In every role he's been a wise, politically astute voice.
He may well have this sinister, grumpy persona, but actually, he spends huge amounts of time doing things for other people. He's done several charity runs to raise money for Alzheimer Scotland in memory of his dad. He spent time volunteering in Uganda in 2011 and now he's heading back there for a longer spell.
We are going to miss him so much but I know he's going to do so much good over there. This post is really about saying thanks Graeme, for five years of excellent work in a really tough political environment, and for all the fun and friendship we've had along the way.
He'll be helping other young people as they volunteer in Uganda. After he came back the first time, he and others talked about the sort of work they did out there:
I'm sure other Scottish Liberal Democrats will want to join me in saying thanks to Graeme and wishing him well in Uganda and beyond.