Liberal Democrat councillor pays tribute to former leader Charles Kennedy

Former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy
Former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy

Tributes have been paid by a Northampton politician to the former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy.

Mr Kennedy had served as an MP for 32 years, but was ousted from his Ross, Skye and Lochaber constituency last month as the SNP swept the board in the general election north of the border.

Councillor Sally Beardsworth

Councillor Sally Beardsworth

Police had been called out to his house in Fort William yesterday, after being alerted by the ambulance service. The cause of is death is not known but it is not thought to be suspicious.

Sally Beardsworth, Liberal Democrat Northampton Borough councillor for Kingsthorpe, said she was devastated by the news of his death.

“He was such a nice man. He was charming, he was intelligent and he had such a nice sense of humour - he was regularly on Have I Got News For You and never made a fool of himself, unlike some who have appeared.

“He was a nice guy and genuinely believed in Liberalism and had an intense amount of intergrity. He had his problems with his demons but we all do.

“I am just so sad that he didn’t have time to enjoy his later years with his family.

“Charles was a genuinely nice man and believed in what he did. It was always nice to meet him,” she added.

Councillor Beardsworth said Mr Kennedy would have been devastated about losing his seat as an MP.

“People can be so gleeful when politicians lose their seat but they don’t realise the impact that it has. You would never treat someone who was made redundant from their job in the same way but it is different for politicians.

“It was his life, he absolutely devoted his whole life to it.”

Mr Kennedy led the opposition to the Iraq war and Councillor Beardsworth attended a high-profile march in London.

“It was a wonderful march and included people from every walk of life. He was totally right in protesting against the Iraq war,” she said.