A FORMER Labour MSP and long-serving councillor has died.

Hanzala Malik represented the Glasgow region at Holyrood from 2011 to 2016 and served as a councillor for the city’s Hillhead ward in the west end for more than two decades.

The Glasgow Labour group said in statement: “The Glasgow Labour Group are sad to announce the passing of Councillor Hanzala Malik.

“His unwavering dedication to the Hillhead ward in championing equality and social justice had inspired many within the Labour Group.

READ MORE: By-election looms as Scott Benton faces lengthy ban from Commons

“His commitment and passion resonated profoundly within Hillhead, and his absence will be keenly felt.

“Councillor Malik’s legacy of tireless advocacy and genuine compassion will continue to influence our efforts as we strive to uphold the causes he so passionately believed in.

“He will be dearly missed and his memory will remain a guiding light in our pursuit of a fairer and more equitable society.”

Malik first represented Hillhead on his own from 1995 to 2007 before becoming one of four councillors covering the ward from 2007 to 2012.

When he was elected to Holyrood in 2011, he did not vacate his council seat until elections the following year.

After he was not re-elected to Holyrood in 2016, he went back to being a councillor for Hillhead in 2017.

First Minister Humza Yousaf described Malik as a "dear friend" who always encouraged him in politics.

He said: "I'm terribly sad to have heard my dear friend and elder Hanzala Malik has passed away.

"Politically, he always encouraged me despite the fact we were in different parties.

"My condolences to Aunty Haleema, his children, grandkids and all those who loved him and will miss him dearly."

The Glasgow Greens group tweeted: "We are very sorry to hear of Councillor Malik's passing and offer our condolences to his family and friends, as well as the whole of Glasgow Labour."