Former Lib Dem MP Colin Breed has died

Colin Breed, who was the Liberal Democrat MP for South East Cornwall between 1997 and 2010 has died.

From Cornwall Live:

On the retirement of the sitting Conservative MP Sir Robert Hicks, Mr Breed was selected to fight the seat at the 1997 general election and won, with a majority of 6,480, three days before his 50th birthday. His first parliamentary job was as the party’s spokesman on competition and consumer affairs, and his report Checking Out the Supermarkets sparked the Competition Commission’s investigation into supermarket profitability.

In October 1999 leader Charles Kennedy appointed him to the Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister; in September 2000 he published Roots To Recovery, a paper on the future of rural Britain. In 2002 he became the junior spokesperson on defence.

Colim Martin, the Leader of the Lib Dems on Cornwall Council, paid tribute to Colin:

Colin gave me my first job in politics, when I came to work for him in Liskeard in 2005, and it soon became clear to me that he embodied so many of the qualities a good MP should have.

He was kind and friendly to everyone. He never took himself too seriously, but he knew he had a serious job to do. He was observant, curious and thoughtful, so he had developed a detailed understanding of the factors influencing everything from the price of a pint of milk to building a bypass, and as well as looking after South East Cornwall he tried to foster a more peaceful world, voting against the war in Iraq and making many visits to the Middle East to promote greater understanding between people of different religions.

“All of this was driven by a sense of humility and service, rooted in his faith. He didn’t see MPs as being above anyone else; all he wanted to do was to make the world a better place for others, and for 13 years that’s exactly what he did.

“Whether you knew him or not, everyone in South East Cornwall was helped in one way or another by Colin, and every day my own work is shaped by his example. The Liberal Democrat party in Cornwall will miss his wisdom, and Janet and the family are in our thoughts and prayers.

Please feel free to share your memories of Colin in the comments.

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  • Lovely man Colin, thoughtful, caring, fair and independent. Like Andrew Stunell he was part of the non-conformist tradition, a lay preacher, part of the 1997 intake and has sadly also departed prematurely.

  • A good man who will be sadly missed. He and all the team in SE Cornwall made the big breakthrough with huge amounts of hard work in 1997, and for 13 years he made sure the needs of his constituents were first and foremost in his mind. A good man and a good MP.

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