Category Archives: Obituaries

Welsh Liberal Democrats pay tribute to former Assembly Member Mick Bates

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have paid tribute to former Welsh Assembly Member Mick Bates following the news that he has passed away following a battle with cancer.

Mick Bates was elected as the Liberal Democrat member for Montgomeryshire constituency in the inaugural Welsh Assembly elections in 1999 and continued to serve as its member until 2011.

Prior to becoming the Assembly Member for Montgomeryshire Mick had worked as a teacher, as a farmer and as a Liberal Democrat County Councillor.

Mick was well known for being a tireless campaigner for rural communities, but also for being decades ahead of his time on the need to tackle climate change advocating for action to save the environment years before it entered the political mainstream.

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You are invited to Shirley Williams’ Memorial Service

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You are invited to celebrate the life of
Shirley Vivian Teresa Brittain Williams

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Welsh Liberal Democrats Pay Tribute to Former Assembly Member Aled Roberts

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds Stated:

I am devastated to hear of the passing of Aled. Aled was a committed liberal and was known for his extraordinary hard work as both an Assembly Member for North Wales and as a senior councillor on Wrexham Borough Council. This news is a deep blow to the Welsh Liberal Democrat family and my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time.

Throughout his time as an Assembly Member Aled continued to put standing up for his communities at the very heart of everything he did. Just one example was his tireless and successful campaign for Llay to have solar panels installed on all homes within the estate.

In his role as Shadow Minister for Children, Education and the Welsh language, he fought tooth and nail for investment in our young people, not least for the Welsh Government to maintain the Pupil Deprivation Grant. He is also well remembered for only ever making his contributions in the Siambr in Welsh.

As a councillor, Aled was a role model community servant and represented the Ponciau Ward from 1991-2012 and served as Mayor of Wrexham in 2003-04. He was elected Leader of Wrexham County Borough Council in March 2005.

Outside of politics, Aled also had a distinguished career as local solicitor and in 1985 he was part of a campaign to protect a local Miners’ institute from closure. He also was the Chair of Governors for many years at Ysgol Gymraeg I D Hooson and a Governor at Ysgol Maes y Mynydd, Rhosllanerchrugog. He was also a committed Christian.

Aled will be most remembered for his dedication to the Welsh language. A tireless advocate of the protection and promotion of Welsh, he excelled in his role as the Welsh Language Commissioner and sought to promote the language in all aspects of life, including in his role as an Assembly Member.

Aled’s passing will leave a deep hole in Welsh political life and in our Party, he was someone who knew everyone and left a positive impression on all those he knew. We will miss him greatly.

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John Pugh writes…Lord Ronnie Fearn 1931-2022

Most people who knew Ronnie have a Ronnie story. If there is a book written about how to become an MP or a Lord, Ronnie never read it.

He was never going to be one to tick all the boxes in a bloodless modern selection process  and yet he was loved by his constituents and possibly the only one who could have in the 1987 General Election delivered the only Liberal gain in England. He won because he was no political careerist using the constituency as a stepping stone, but because his only ambition was to represent the town of his birth and the people in it.

Southport, albeit it has its eccentricities and detractors, has deep Liberal roots and the heart of Southport liberalism is valuing each individual regardless of where they stand in the social hierarchy.

Ronnie practised rather than theorised about Liberalism showing an omnivorous and genuine interest in the daily life of ordinary and not so ordinary folk, patronising ,in the proper sense, all sorts of groups and associations.

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World Review: Troubles in Poland, Nigeria, Brazil & the US, and Colin Powell

In this weekend’s commentary on world affairs, LDV’s foreign correspondent Tom Arms reviews the conflict between Poland and the Commission over the primacy of EU law. Nigeria is in a bigger mess than usual as corruption is exacerbated by Jihadism, the pandemic, a rapid rise in gang violence and a resurgence of Biafran secessionism. Brazilian senators are investigating Bolsonaro’s responsibility for 600,000 Brazilian covid-19 deaths. In the States, Trump aide Steve Bannon will go to prison for a year for contempt of Congress. Colin Powell who died this week, was universally recognised as a decent and honest man.

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Sir David Amess – a tribute

David Amess was a kind, thoughtful and sensitive man. We may have been political opponents but he was a good friend to me and countless others, right across the political divide. He was a thoroughly diligent and distinguished Member of Parliament, who was unstinting in his commitment and service to his Essex constituents.

I first met David in 1989 soon after I was selected by Labour to contest the election in Thurrock, Essex, a marginal Tory-held seat. David was then already Member of Parliament for Basildon, next door to Thurrock. (Later he represented Southend, also in Essex).

We would sometimes meet on the underground whilst travelling to the constituencies. We would engage in banter – laugh and joke – on other occasions we would sometimes be deeply engaged in discussion about the state of British politics. Surprisingly, we often agreed! We both had a passion for Parliament and its history.

After I was elected we also found that we had much in common. We both shared the need to champion the interests of the people of Essex. Neither of us sought Ministerial office; on the contrary, both of us shared the view that being recognised as an independent vocal backbencher was sufficient reward.

We collaborated in championing the interests of the Iranian opposition politicians who faced persecution and exile. This was ongoing business for David. He was passionate about trying to protect and promote the rights of people arguing for democracy in Iran.

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Obituary: Tom Sharp CBE

Guildford Liberal Democrats have shared with us the sad news of the death of Tom Sharp on 20th August. We send our sympathies and love to his wife, Baroness Margaret Sharp, and to his family, friends and colleagues.

Tom served as a County Councillor from 1989-2005 and as a Guildford Borough Councillor from 1991-1999. Professionally he was a civil servant, including a secondment to the British Embassy in Washington DC in the 70s. In 1987 he was awarded a CBE for the work he did on the privatisation of British Telecom.

Cllr David Goodwin writes on behalf of the Borough Lib Dem Group:

My overriding memory of Tom was his belief in and commitment to the Liberal Democrats both locally and nationally. He was a true liberal and this extended through to his work with residents and fellow councillors (from all sides) – balanced, hard-working and fair. So, it was a real honour to take over from him on both the Borough and County Councils.

With his wife Margaret, Baroness Sharp (an equally avid Lib Dem member who served in the Lords and fought the Guildford parliamentary seat between 1983 and 1997), they generously opened their home to Guildford Liberal Democrats – as both the local party office and for their legendary fundraising dinners. They were real cornerstones of the local party, always helping at events alongside their councillor and other community work.

Tom supported so many councillors and candidates past and present in their elections – not only with his words of wisdom but also delivering election leaflets right across our constituency. He knew it inside out and impressed us all with his tenacity & fitness to deliver so many of them well into his 80s!

Former MP for Guilford, Sue Doughty, writes:

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Obituary: Trevor Smith – Liberal Democrat Peer

I first met Trevor Smith fifty years ago when I arrived at the Joseph Rowntree Social Service Trust – now the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust – in 1970. I was Pratap Chitnis’ assistant and Trevor ran the Acton Society Trust which was, in effect the Trust’s research arm. We were in touch sporadically thereafter, meeting for the last time at Geoff Tordoff’s funeral in June 2019.

Trevor joined the Liberal Society at the London School of Economics in 1955 when the party was almost at its lowest ebb. He fought the 1959 general election in Lewisham West – at 22 the youngest candidate in the UK – but never fought another election. He retained his Liberal and Liberal Democrat membership but he chose an academic career and only again became publicly active politically when appointed as a Life Peer in 1997, not long before he retired.

Trevor was never prepared to allow what he regarded as self-seeking or unprofessional conduct to go unchallenged and controversy followed him around his academic posts. It was the same with his politics. His thirty-five year absence from Liberal politics did not inhibit his criticisms of the party and he wrote a number of articles in Liberator critical of the party’s management and direction, including calling for Nick Clegg’s resignation as leader in July 2014.

His final academic post in 1991 was as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ulster, the biggest university on the island of Ireland and based at four separate sites around the north. It was a brave job to take on, given the political situation in the province and the academic difficulties at the university. As ever he set about changing the top personnel and successfully challenging the entrenched attitudes at the university. He embarked on a number of imaginative and liberal initiatives including establishing Incore, the International Centre for Conflict Resolution, with the United Nations University, Tokyo. He also wanted to establish a fifth Ulster University campus on the Belfast peace line between the Shankill and the Falls Road, with entrances at each side.

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Jonathan Davies (1962-2021)

It is with deep sadness, the Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel (LDFI) announce the passing of our dear friend and long-time LDFI Vice-Chairman and Treasurer Jonathan Davies, after a year-long illness.

Jonathan, an Oxford graduate and former Partner and Head of the Financial Services team at a large City law firm, was a Liberal Democrat stalwart. On a local level, Jonathan was a phenomenal activist in the London Borough of Barnet. He represented Childs Hill as a councillor from 1994-1998, stood for Parliament in Finchley and Golders Green on three occasions and was appointed the ward’s election agent in the very high profile 2019 election, as well as being elected as Chair of the English Party of the Liberal Democrats in 2010. His talents, dedication and calming influence spanned decades, and he devoted countless hours to campaigning for and supporting the Party.

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Hans van Baalen (1960-2021)

It has been announced that Johannes Cornelis “Hans” van Baalen, President of the ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe) Party, passed away this morning after a short period in hospital, having recently been diagnosed as suffering from cancer.

A member of VVD (The People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy), he served as a member of the Dutch Parliament between 1999 and 2002, and from 2003 until 2009 until he took his seat in the European Parliament. His political career started as the International Secretary of VVD, the first step in what became a love of international politics that saw him rise to the top of European and international liberalism.

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Liberal Democrat Voice pays tribute to Shirley Williams

Members of the Liberal Democrat Voice team pay tribute to Shirley Williams

Paul Walter:
I took the (rather fuzzy) photo of Shirley (above) at the Spring Conference in Brighton in 2013.

My mother is not “Political” although she has a great political understanding, with a small “p”.

Back in the late 1960s, she saw Shirley Williams as her favourite politician. Simply because she was, in my mother’s words, “so sensible”,

I knew what she meant. There was always something about how Shirley spoke.

In debates she would never get heated or involved in “argy-bargy”. She would listen carefully to the opposing views, with her head slightly leaning to one side, and take notes. (In fact, reviewing photos of Shirley over the years, I see that she often had her head leaning slightly to one side as if to emphasise that she was listening). When it came to her turn to speak, she would be absolutely devastating (to the opposition) because she would be composed, informed, “as sharp as a tack” and take down the opposing view with extreme precision. In doing so, she always appeared to be totally calm but absolutely precise.

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Shirley Williams – a tribute

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I first met Shirley as a teenage student. I served with her on the Labour Committee for Europe. I was at her side as she chaired every session of every SDP conference. And latterly I worked with her closely in the Lords where initially she was my leader and, more recently and improbably, I was hers.

Over these 50 years, Shirley didn’t really change. She was passionate about the things she believed in – principally social justice and Europe. She was fearless in advocating these things and was prepared to take political hostility head on to promote them.

But what set Shirley apart from any other politicians I’ve met was her empathy and her charisma. She was genuinely interested in other people, their ideas and their lives. And she had a special magnetic charm which meant that people warmed to her and were energised by her.

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Tributes to Shirley Williams

Many warm tributes have been paid to Shirley Williams, who sadly passed away yesterday.

Here are a selection of the tributes:

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David Penwarden dies at 88

The Liberal Democrats lost a much-loved colleague, mentor and campaigner on February 8th.

David Penwarden was a member of the Party for about 70 years, his first role being President of the 1000-strong Oxford University Liberal Party. He took pride in making it the largest political society at the University, a feat he attributed to holding meetings at the women’s colleges rather than the men’s colleges where the other parties operated!

He first stood as a Liberal candidate in the 1955 General Election in a, not unsurprisingly, unsuccessful campaign in West Ham North where he used beer-mats with the message ‘Vote Penwarden for peace, progress, prosperity’. He did get elected later, however, as a Liberal councillor for the County Borough of West Ham.

In 1961 he moved with his wife and young children to Berkshire where he was elected to Reading Borough Council. In 1963 he stood unsuccessfully in a by-election for the Deptford constituency.

In 1966 the family moved to Harpenden and David stood in the South Bedfordshire constituency in both the 1974 general elections. David was the Chair of the Liberal Party’s Candidates Committee in 1978-80. He stood for Hemel Hempstead in the 1979 general election.

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Ed Fordham on Jonathan Fryer, Tony Greaves and Derek Barrie

They come along in three’s: but none of us expected to put Jonathan Fryer, Tony Greaves and Derek Barrie in the same sentence in such a short period of time. Three liberals who now feature in our hearts, in our memories and in our stories. But if we do them justice they will feature in our actions, our principles and that will keep them alive in our hearts.

LDV has published obituaries for Tony Greaves and Derek Barrie. Jonathan Fryer is terminally ill and has sadly written his last Facebook post.

These were three very different people.

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A tribute to Ann Winfield

At Lib Dem Voice we were sad to hear of the death of Ann Winfield.

Her husband, Rif, writes:

My wife Ann Winfield, Liberal Parliamentary candidate in the 1983 General Election for Newham North East, former Assistant Secretary of the London Liberal Party, and Leader of the Liberal Group on Newham London Borough Council from 1982 to 1986, died in Bronglais General Hospital at 8pm on Christmas Eve, 24 December. She was 69½ years old.

Born Ann Spriggs in Ladywood, Birmingham, in mid 1951, she was recruited into the Liberal Party (at the age of 9!) by Wallace Lawler, who subsequently became Liberal

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Joan “Penny” Ewens (1926-2020)

Michael Meadowcroft has kindly drawn our attention to an obituary recently published in the Yorkshire Post

Joan “Penny” Ewens, who has died at 94, was a two-term Leeds councillor and honorary Alderman, having been elected to the council in her late 70s after a lifetime of activism.

Born Joan Penwill, she adopted the forename Penny at her school in Liverpool to differentiate her from five other Joans in her class. She served in the Intelligence Corps during the war and met her future husband, David Ewens, on VE day in London. They were married soon afterwards.

David’s job brought them to Leeds in 1960 and, as a mature student, she enrolled at the James Graham Teacher Training College. After a spell at the Kitson College she settled into a long career at West Park High School where she took a particular interest in careers and in drama.

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John Roberts – a tribute

John Roberts with Judith Trefor Thomas had the idea, and with the great support of Emlyn Hooson, founded the Welsh Liberal Summer School meeting first in Llangollen. It developed ultimately into the Lloyd George Society of which he was an executive member for many years. His purpose was to have a meeting place where we could discuss Liberal policies and exchange ideas, with a Welsh flavour.

Having broken away from the central Liberal organisation, the LPO, in 1967, the new Welsh Liberal Party needed its own distinctive policies. John was foremost in engaging academics and journalists who threw us ideas. I remember in particular how we worked on economic policies with the theme that bribing industry with cash subsidies to open branch projects in Wales was ultimately fruitless. What was needed was investment in infrastructure which would make Wales a desirable place for investment – roads, rail electrification, airlinks, trading estates, a new Severn crossing and upgrading the A55. Free Ports in Cardiff, Newport and Swansea was one of the policies we developed, a concept which this Tory government fifty years later seems now to have latched onto.

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Lord David Shutt (1942-2020)

It is with much sadness that Liberal Democrat Voice reports the death of David Shutt overnight. David was probably better known for his central role in the early years of the Coalition, as Chief Whip in the Lords, but he was a key figure in Yorkshire and beyond, a stalwart Quaker and a source of wisdom for those who needed it. Our condolences go to his wife, Margaret, and his family and friends.

Rather than running through a somewhat impersonal list of achievements, I thought that it would be more meaningful to publish his last contribution in the Lords, which perhaps is as good a way of marking his commitment to democracy and to liberalism. On 8 October, he moved an amendment to the Parliamentary Constituencies Bill, seeking to improve the accuracy and completeness of electoral registers…

My Lords, I beg to move Amendment 16 as an important enhancement of the Bill, which would improve the accuracy and completeness of the electoral registers for future reviews.

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Dr Frances Alexander (1935-2020)

This is a longer piece than we would usually publish, but we feel that it is important that Frances’ contribution to her community and wider society is marked.

Dr Frances Alexander, the former Lib Dem mayor of High Wycombe, died last week aged 84. Frances made things happen.

Things she cared passionately about: new organisations, new practical solutions in High Wycombe, groups for the advancement of women, ways to address environmental damage, events to bring her family together. She embodied the idea of ‘Think Global, Act Local’. Her achievements are wide and resounding, and she touched the lives of very many …

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A woman for all seasons: remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg

In an early episode of the American cartoon sitcom Family Guy, the central characters are in their sitting room experiencing a case of spontaneous speech synchronization – they keep saying the same things at the same time. The sketch ends with them all spontaneously saying the name of the same person: “Ruth Bader Ginsburg”.

The joke worked because Justice Ginsburg was someone who everyone knew, but rarely talked about. Like any good lawyer and judge, her late career was marked by a fight for fairness, equanimity, and rapport – values hard to come by in an age of increasing political polarization. Her friendships, such as with Chief Justice Roberts and the recently deceased conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, set a tone of collegiality for the court, even when they were most divided.

My partner is a lawyer, and (not uncoincidentally) an extremely principled person with a thirst for justice. It is sometimes difficult, in the legal discipline, to square that circle. Lawyers themselves often see lawyering as a necessary evil, a symptom of the broken world that they are trying to heal. Thomas More, himself a lawyer and judge, imagined in his Utopia that “There are no lawyers, because no one wishes to conceal anything”.

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In memory of Ireland’s favourite Englishman – Jack Charlton

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Ireland’s favourite Englishman, Jack Charlton, was buried this week and if it wasn’t for Covid, a state funeral would no doubt have been planned for him in Ireland.

The news broke on Saturday, July 11th of his passing followed by an outpouring of emotions. Big Jack wasn’t just a football manager. He took us on an adventure. He helped create a more confident Ireland. Robert Emmett said during his trial for the failed 1803 Rebellion ‘When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then and not till then, let my epitaph be written.’ It was Jack who took us to our place among nations.

We need to go back in time to remember what Anglo-Irish relations were like back in the 1980s. Big Jack took on the Irish job in 1986. He had played on the 1966 winning English team but didn’t receive the same accolades as others did. He dedicated himself to a long career with Leeds United before managing Newcastle United. He applied for the English job and publicly spoke of his anger of being ignored by the FA.

There was skepticism of his appointment at first. The Troubles were at their height, England still considered the ‘Old Enemy’. He took Ireland to her first major tournament in 1988 beating an overly confident England one-nil. It was a watershed moment.

Then came Italia ‘90. Ireland made it to the quarter-finals. What can be said about Italia ‘90 that doesn’t leave Irish eyes smiling. It was a golden age of Irish football. A confident Ireland was emerging. Italia ‘90 kick started it followed by the annual Eurovision from Ireland, Riverdance and the Celtic Tiger. Being Irish was cool!

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Thank you David Becket: the pleasure was ours…

It is with great sadness that news arrives of the passing for a long-standing former councillor. Staffordshire activist David Becket, has died at his home in Betley, Newcastle under Lyme; it was multiple medical problems, but not including the virus.

David was well known for outstanding hard work in the old Halmerend ward that he represented and also for very significant work he did as Liberal Democrat on the Newcastle Borough Council. He was on many committees (he loved and hated them) and for 5 years was on the cabinet 2006-2011. Elected in 2002, David was elected Mayor of the Borough of Newcastle for 2012/13 with his wife Dr Anne Becket as mayoress.

David’s passion, well he was passionate about many things, was the environment and recycling.  He was very proud of his role in taking the recycling service at Newcastle from a failing service to winning three national awards. To his credit – and it was a sign of the man – he decided to step back from having a Cabinet role at this time.  “Always leave when you are winning”, he would boom at anyone willing to listen. He stood down from the Council in 2015 and was made an Honorary Alderman of the Borough – “its fluff” he said, “but its nice fluff” and he was deeply proud of the elevation.

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How can the economy work for the benefit of all?

I received the sad news this week that Dr. Peter Bowman had been taken by COVID-19 in the prime of his life. Peter was Head of Economics at the School of Economic Science (SES).

The SES was founded in 1938 by Labour MP Andrew McLaren to teach courses on economics with a focus on Land Value Taxation policies. McLaren’s political hero was Campbell-Bannerman, and he often repeated CB’s pledge “… to make the land less of a pleasure ground for the rich, and more of a treasure-house for the nation …”.

The MP was firmly against the welfare state, believing it merely appeared to be necessary due to the prevailing inequities in the economic system. When not in parliament he poured his effort and talent into education, hoping to make people see how land value taxation could relieve society of many unhelpful economic tendencies, and provide economic freedom for the common people.

Dr. Peter Bowman followed in the footsteps of McLaren in giving freely of his time and energy in trying to make this world a better place. Peter was instrumental in developing the work of the All-Party Group on Land Value Capture under the Chairmanship of Vince Cable and overseeing the preparation of the group’s first report.

Social justice was Peter’s passion. Speaking in this ten-minute video Changing Paradigms in Economics: Economics as Relationships, Peter emphasises that a just economy is about relationships in society and how we treat fairly with people. Justice prevails in an economy that is based on honesty; trust’ loyalty; a sense of service and satisfaction. Too often what we have is the opposite.

Peter gave the 2015 School of Economic Science Annual Economics Lecture How can the economy work for the benefit of all? The lecture asks how can the economy work for the benefit of all and gives some simple propositions.

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Obituary – David Hughes


David Hughes died suddenly at a Party meeting last Saturday. David spoke with his usual with passion, eloquence and good sense. But there was far more to my old friend.

In 1973 the St Paul’s School pupil left London for Lincoln. Labour MP Dick Taverne had resigned to fight a by-election as a pro-European, Independent Social Democrat. Taverne won, and David’s lifelong commitment to liberalism began.

In 1975 he was elected Student Union President, one of only four Liberal Presidents.‎ I was one of the others.‎ As Presidents-elect, we sought each other out. …

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David Hughes

We are very sad to have to report that David Hughes passed away suddenly yesterday at the meeting of the English Council, of which he was the Treasurer.

As stated on the party’s website, David was the current Chair of the Western Counties. He had also been a parliamentary candidate three times, and was a former chair of both the party’s candidates association and its national students’ organisation.

As Treasurer, David also Chaired the English Finance and Administration Committee.

Our heartfelt sympathy go to his family, friends and colleagues.

A full tribute to David will be published later in the week.

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A tribute to Robbie Simpson

Robbie Simpson, long-standing Lib Dem activist, died suddenly in Geneva at the beginning of January. He was 30 years old. To lose such a talent, and such a friend as Robbie, is a tragedy beyond comprehension. To try and summarise his impact is nearly impossible, but I hope this goes some way to remind us all of the wonderful friend we have lost.

I met Robbie at my first meeting of Glasgow University Liberal Democrats in September 2009. He was a very tall, kind looking man, although it took me three weeks to understand his accent (which was not unique to his village but in fact entirely unique to him). After spending the first two years of his Computing Science degree commuting by bus from Ayrshire (two hours each way every day), he had finally moved to Glasgow and was able to get involved in student politics. Within the month we, with many others, were being swept away by waves of Cleggmania, pounding the streets of Glasgow North with the indefatigable Katy Gordon.

Robbie stayed involved in student activism, becoming a member of Glasgow University’s Student’s Representative Council. He became the Treasurer of Liberal Youth Scotland (after an internship at Deutsche Bank, he stood unopposed for the unenviable position with the slogan ‘Vote Robbie – he speaks bank’) where he had a profound impact on both the youth wing and those he met through it. He turned it from a small group of activists into a credible voice within the party, and helped build a coordinated network of young Lib Dem campaigners across Scotland. He supported younger members to become involved, and was a kind and friendly ear. Those he met through Glasgow University Lib Dems and Liberal Youth Scotland remained some of his closest friends.

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LibLink: Bob Maclennan – An appreciation by Sam Ghibaldan

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On January 20th, we republished, with kind permission of the author, a moving personal tribute to Bob Maclennan (Lord Maclennan of Rogart) by Andrew Page.

The Herald newspaper has published an obituary of Bob by Sam Ghibaldan.

The tribute begins:

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Goodbye Bob, the kindest of politicians

Note from the Editorial Team: This touching personal tribute to Bob Maclennan was published over the weekend on “A Scottish Liberal” – the blog of Andrew Page. We liked it so much that we asked Andrew if we could reproduce it here, and he kindly agreed.

Today I discovered that my friend, one time mentor and godfather to my daughter Xanthe has passed away at the age of 83.

Robert Maclennan, Lord Maclennan of Rogart (but always “Bob” to me) was the son of a gynaecologist (Sir Hector Maclennan) and a forward-thinking …

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More warm tributes to Bob Maclennan

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There have been more touching tributes to Bob Maclennan via Twitter overnight, from across the political spectrum:

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