Andrew Reeves passes away

Many Liberal Democrats are in mourning this morning after the sudden death of a long-time colleague and friend, Andrew Reeves. He died of a heart attack last night.

Andrew had a long career in the party, including working for Vince Cable in Twickenham and Lynne Featherstone in Hornsey & Wood Green and stewarding at party conferences, before becoming the party’s Deputy Director for Scotland. Andrew was always one of the happiest and kindest people on the campaigns I worked with him on, and never let the occasional inevitable moments of stress or tension sour personal friendships. He had also in recent years become a keen runner for charity.

Three disparate memories stick in my mind about Andrew. One was the middle of a local election campaign when due to a farcical breakdown in communications he was inside a locked building out of touch and I had to get some urgent information to him. The solution? Remotely logging in to one of the printers in the building and printing out a letter to him. It caught him a bit unawares when a printer sprung to life and churned out a piece of paper starting ‘Dear Andrew…’ :-)

The second was Andrew’s improbably ability to keep his shirts perfectly ironed all through the day. No matter how many tips I asked him to pass on, my shirts have never got even close to his levels of sartorial elegance.

The third was the pleasure of attending his civic partnership just a few months ago, and the chance to meet for the first time his long-term partner Roger. (See Andrew’s lovely post here.) Andrew was always very good at keeping work and private lives separate, so much so that several of using going were joking in advance whether or not Roger really existed…

It was lovely seeing Roger and Andrew together for the first – and tragically last – time in a beautiful setting on the Firth of Forth.

Andrew will be much missed for many reasons by the large number of people he helped, he entertained, he encouraged, he supported and he loved.

My thoughts are with Roger and Andrew’s relatives.

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38 Comments

  • Liberal Neil 3rd Jun '11 - 11:11am

    I heard about this just a couple of hours ago and am deeply shocked by this sad news.

    I’ve known Andrew since his first involvement in the party in the South East when he was a regular attendee at training events, through his involvement as a constituency organiser in seats in what was then ‘my patch’ and then as Regional Organiser in London.

    Not only was he always a great person to work with but he was also the best of friends to have.

    From the first time I met him to the last time I spoke to him he had an infectious enthusiasm, a deep commitment to the party and its ideals and a great love of life.

    Andrew was one of those people who seemed to be liked by everybody and he will be missed by all of us who knew him but also remembered fondly.

    Roger and Andrew’s family must be devastated by this and my thoughts are with them.

  • This is just so sad. Andrew was a great person and a ferocious campaigner. I really appreciated his advice and hard work for the campaigns I was involved in first in Southwark and then in Camden before his move to Scotland.

    Despite working very long hours he found time to run for charity and blog too. I really admired his ability to engage with the world in lots of different ways.

    It’s desperately sad news and for him to die so suddenly and at such a young age is dreadful. My sympathies to Andrew’s family and to Roger.

  • Chris Rennard 3rd Jun '11 - 11:27am

    Andrew was such a great person and this such a shock. The best thing ever about this party was meeting and working with some truly wonderful people who became great friends. It was a real joy to be able to find jobs for people like Andrew. He made a real difference and he did so with such a great manner and style. He will be very much missed and Ann and I want to express our condolences to Roger and family and friends. Chris

  • Mark Pack Caron Lindsay 3rd Jun '11 - 11:41am

    A really tough post to write, Mark, but you have summed Andrew up well. I can’t quite get my head together to string an articulate sentence together.

    I have so many memories of Andrew – him introducing me to ice hockey, the wild and wonderful Glenrothes by election campaign, my birthday last year in Wagamama.

    He was the best. You could not be down for long in his company and he had this way of making you get much more done than you ever thought was possible.

    I will miss him so much.

    I so feel for Roger and his family.

  • I only knew Andrew through his role as Campaigns Director in Scotland and mine as a candidate, but I do know that he worked ridiculously hard in the Scottish by-elections in the last parliament, and in May this year fought as strong a campaign as possible with the little resource made available to him.

    I know that he was held in great affection by many in the party who met him, and my thoughts are with them and his partner today.

  • Chris Keating 3rd Jun '11 - 11:59am

    Very, very sad.

    Many people knew Andrew better than I did, but I was always struck by his immense determination, patience and total down-to-earth sensibleness. Among the many dramas in politics, he was almost always the calm at the eye of the storm.

  • Helen Duffett 3rd Jun '11 - 11:59am

    Very fond of Andrew: his wisdom, loyalty and kindness.

    I’ll really miss him.

  • Duncan Borrowman 3rd Jun '11 - 12:17pm

    Very sad news. I first knew Andrew when he was trying to get some campaigning going in the black hole of Dartford, and being the organiser up the road in Orpington he used to come in to borrow the use of office facilities and ask for advice.

    Andrew and I went on to work closely together for a number of years. When I moved on to become London Campaigns Officer I helped him get his first party job as organiser for Vince Cable. He went from there to work for Simon Hughes, then Lynne Featherstone before becoming London Campaigns Officer himself and then Deputy Director of Campaigns in Scotland.

    As Mark says, Andrew kept his domestic life very private, and though I visited his Dartford home many times, I never got past the front door to meet Roger. So, it was sad that given our dire financial straights before my present job, my wife Grace and I couldn’t afford the trip to Edinburgh for their wedding. Especially as they had been incredibly generous in their wedding gift to us.

    As well as Roger, Andrew was also devoted to his cats (sadly we used to compare comments on photos of his 2 and our 2).

    He will be sadly missed.

  • Robin Fenwick 3rd Jun '11 - 12:19pm

    A truly lovely, generous, warm and encouraging man. Gone much too soon. My condolences to all affected by his death.

  • Jim Fitzgerald 3rd Jun '11 - 12:21pm

    I didn’t know Andrew as well as others here, but I am so deeply shocked and saddened by this news.

    I was involved with Andrew at every stage of my time working for the Lib Dems – he was one of the first people I talked to about how to get my first paid job as an organiser, was the London Campaigns Officer while I was working in Sutton, and was a constant source of advice when I moved to Southwark council. A great deal of what little I know about campaigning I learnt from Andrew, who always seemed to know the best thing to do.

    He was an organisational genius, a strategic thinker and a real campaigning pro. He was also a lovely, lovely man, and I feel honoured to have known him.

  • Dave Thomas 3rd Jun '11 - 12:32pm

    I knew Andrew from Conference, being a Steward from 2004 to 2009 and he was always helpful, full of advice (the occasional windup) and a good laugh. You could ask him anything and he would always have a good word to offer and helped me from time to time. Worked tiredlessly and always with a smile. . . .

    Will be sadly missed and my thoughts go out to Roger and to “Reevies” Family at this time.

    Dave Thomas

  • Susan Gaszczak 3rd Jun '11 - 12:34pm

    Very sad news, my thoughts and love go out to Roger and all their friends and family.

  • I don’t think I ever met Andrew face-to-face so tributes are best left to others but its just so sad to lose a friend and colleague so suddenly and so young.

  • lynne featherstone 3rd Jun '11 - 1:25pm

    Andrew came to work with me when I was elected in 2005 as my Head of Office (and mother). He was just a wonderful rock during such a stressful time. Such a very kind man. Very hard to think won’t hear that laugh of his again. I will now have to always do my rounds of the exhibition stands at conference in his honour! Very, very sad.

  • Grammar Police 3rd Jun '11 - 1:51pm

    I didn’t know Andrew terribly well, but met him a number of times whilst he was London Campaigns Officer – a lovely man – this is very sad news. My thoughts are with his friends and family.

  • Nick Carthew 3rd Jun '11 - 3:29pm

    Andrew worked more hours than anyone else I have ever met, but always seemed to remain cheerful – despite severe provocation at times! During his employment within the Liberal Democrat family working in London we shared many a good gossip, good laughs and deep arguments about the right lines to take, but nobody could fault or question his dedication to the cause. He will be sadly missed.

    My deepest sympathy to Roger and Andrew’s sister. They must be devasted.

  • Margaret Smith 3rd Jun '11 - 4:01pm

    I still can’t quite believe this . I only saw Andrew last week when ( as usual) I was picking his brains about expenses and we were commiserating with each other about our results . So many of us in the Scottish party have relied on him so much for advice and support in our campaigns. What I really appreciated about Andrew was that even when we didn”t agree , and we have both been known to have strong views ….he would go away and think about things and come back a little while later with a solution and we would just go forward from there . But the thing I will remember most is his passion for politics and for our party – flawed and wonderful though it is . Suzanne and I are both absolutely shocked by this dreadful news and our thoughts are with Andrew’s family .

  • Richard Huzzey 3rd Jun '11 - 5:14pm

    As Chris said below, it’s the people that make a party special and Andrew was a simply wonderful guy.

  • Caroline Pidgeon 3rd Jun '11 - 5:48pm

    I am so shocked by the news of Andrew’s untimely death. He was a tower of strength to me personally in my 2004 GLA campaign and worked all hours under the sun in our church hall annexe in Bermondsey for our southwark elections. And again for the 2008 London elections. He was fun to be with and work with and will be sadly missed by us all. Our thoughts go out to Roger.

  • Tony Hutson 3rd Jun '11 - 7:54pm

    I didn’t know Andrew terribly well but I was with him only last night. The two of us met with Willie Rennie to discuss campaign ideas (and to gossip!) It was the second such meeting within the last few weeks, and I think there would have been more….. What struck me about him was how easily the ideas flowed and how much fun it was to talk politics with him. The tributes here say it all.

  • Alan Jefferies 3rd Jun '11 - 10:03pm

    Deeply shocked. I also knew Andrew In Dartford. He came on many occasions to help in Medway.

    His success was getting the black hole of Dartford moving against the odds and without any real support. I was with him when he and his new team fought in Longfield, here in Kent.

    I acted as his agent in one election and boy did he work. However he latermoved off to work in London and then up to Scotland and Dartford returned to the Lost Zone.

    A sad sad day he will be missed by Sue Hannant and I

  • Chris Blackburn 3rd Jun '11 - 10:28pm

    Such tragic news. I remember back to 2005 when he was working for Simon and was at the heart of all the fun in the Campaigning Weekends at Wyboston. Always there for a supportive chat which is what most organisers need from time to time) and would help with anything. One of those people you always looked forward to seeing and catching up with at conference. Deepest condolenses to his family.

  • I didn’t know Andrew but it would be good if the author would honour his union properly by calling it a civil partnership rather than a civic partnership. This may seem pedantic but it matters hugely to those of us who have travelled a long journey to have our same sex unions properly recognised.

    May Andrew rest in peace and huge condolences to all those he knew and loved and those who knew and loved him.

  • Ruth Bright 4th Jun '11 - 9:40am

    Words fail. As Caroline says Andrew worked so hard in Southwark, too hard really, bless him. I have such a vivid memory of him at a Federal Conference breakfast where he entertained my toddler by theatrically summoning the waiter for an endless supply of spoons to juggle and goodies to eat.

    What a painful and untimely loss for his loved ones and for Liberalism.

  • Paul Elgood 4th Jun '11 - 1:44pm

    Very sorry to hear this, a great guy and a huge loss.

  • Dave Hennigan 5th Jun '11 - 2:11pm

    I am shocked and saddened by this. I met Andrew on a number of byelections and conferences. His help and advice was greatly appreciated and remembered. I know many, many of our campaigners took their lead from Andrew – he taught us that politics should be fun.

    Latterly, I enjoyed his blog and daily news – frank, to the point but always entertaining.

    My thoughts to Roger and all the family.

  • Chris Walker 6th Jun '11 - 10:54pm

    A great guy, a total shock & a sad loss, what more can I say. Andrew rest in peace.

  • How can death be so cruel! What a loss, my his soul rest in peace.

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