FORMER Scottish minister Brian Wilson is being made a CBE for his part in the resurgence of Harris Tweed.

Wilson is now chairman of Harris Tweed Hebrides – which has been credited with leading the tweed industry out of crisis – and he has spoken of his “surprise” when told of his royal honour.

But Wilson, also a director at Celtic FC, said he would not have accepted the honour if it had been for his service as a politician.

Elected to the Cunninghame North seat in 1987, Wilson served in the Scotland Office, as well as a trade minister, a minister of state for Africa and for industry, between Labour’s victory in 1997 and his retirement from politics in 2005.

Speaking about his honour, Wilson said: “I was surprised by it. I neither sought nor expected anything.

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“I spoke to a couple of people and asked them if I should take it and the unanimous view was that I should.

“I turned down the Lords when I was in politics, but I think this is more of a recognition of everyone who has been involved in the Harris Tweed revival.

“I thought on balance to take it.”

Wilson said he believes the award is more for those who have helped him lead Harris Tweed out of trouble, than for himself.

He set up the company in 2008, “when the industry was at a low ebb”.

He added: “I think it’s generally accepted that we have led the revival of an industry that’s in a pretty perilous condition.”