Charles Kennedy dies aged 55: South west London MPs pay tribute

Tributes have poured in from south west London MPs for former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy who was found dead at home yesterday aged 55.

Mr Kennedy led the party from 1999 to 2006 and lost his Ross, Skye and Lochaber seat at the general election to the SNP. He had been MP there for 32 years.

The area’s only remaining Lib Dem MP, Carshalton and Wallington’s Tom Brake led the tributes, praising his personality and political principles.

He said: “Politics diminished by Charles Kennedy’s death. His wit, compassion, principle and opposition to the Iraq war will never be forgotten.”

Richmond Park & North Kingston Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith said that he would be greatly missed. He wrote: “So sad to hear about Charles Kennedy. He was such a decent, civilised and likeable man. He will be greatly missed.”

Tooting Labour MP and mayoral hopeful Sadiq Khan also took to Twitter to pay tribute to him.

He said: “Charles Kennedy’s death robs politics of a man of principle and values.

“He will be missed by many, esp [sic] us who shared his convictions re Iraq.”

Streatham MP Chuka Umunna also paid tribute to the ‘non tribal’ MP. He said: “So very sad to hear of the passing of Charles Kennedy. In many ways non tribal and knew how to connect politics to people. A great loss.”

The former Liberal Democrat leader who battled alcoholism for years was ‘devastated’ after what he branded ‘the night of the long skean-dhus’ (Gaelic for knives) during his concession speech on May 8.

Mr Kennedy’s family said in a statement: “It is with great sadness, and an enormous sense of shock, that we announce the death of Charles Kennedy.

“We are obviously devastated at the loss. Charles was a fine man, a talented politician, and a loving father to his young son.”

Related Articles