The former British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, has died after collapsing while hill-walking in Scotland.

He was flown by rescue helicopter from Ben Stack in Sutherland and given emergency resuscitation on board the aircraft but died later in hospital.

Mr Cook, 59, served as Foreign Secretary from 1997 to 2001. He was demoted to become Leader of the House of Commons in 2001 and resigned from the cabinet in 2003 over Prime Minister Tony Blair's decision to go to war in Iraq.

Reacting to the news, British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, said his thoughts and prayers were with all of Robin's family.

Mr Blair paid tribute to an 'outstanding, extraordinary talent' saying he was 'brilliant, incisive in debate, of incredible skill and persuasive power'.