Former Lib Dem MP for Hereford, Paul Keetch has died

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Paul Keetch, former Liberal Democrat MP for Hereford. We offer our sincerest sympathy to Paul’s family and friends.

The Ross Gazette has a report which begins:

Paul Keetch, former Liberal Democrat MP for Hereford died on Wednesday, May 24th in London, aged 56.
Paul was a liberal, a democrat and an internationalist and amongst Liberal Politicians, a rarity in that he had never lost an election.

He was elected to Hereford City Council at the age of 21, making him the then youngest City Councillor in the UK. As a proud Herefordian, born and raised in the city, there was only one place he wanted to represent in Parliament and he became the MP for Hereford at his first attempt in 1997. He defended the seat twice in 2001 and 2005, before standing down prior to the 2010 election.

Paul frequently said that some of his most satisfying achievements were as a constituency MP in Herefordshire. He took pride in the part he played in getting flood defences for Hereford and Ross-on-Wye, securing the future of the County Hospital in Hereford and campaigning for more beds and staff whilst securing funding for the A&E and maternity departments locally; he secured an Education Action Zone working with business and the community to provide funding and facilities to improve schools, as well as supporting bids for funding new school buildings and projects throughout the constituency.

You can read the full report here.

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  • Mavarine Du-Marie 25th May '17 - 8:44pm

    He leaves behind a legacy to be proud of both personally and in Libdem politics as was part of his life’s work. May he now rest in peace.

  • Adrian Sanders 26th May '17 - 7:40am

    I will remember him for his infectious enthusiasm when first elected, his advocacy for all things Herefordshire, and his great support before retiring from the House when he covered for colleagues about to fight an election in the latter days of the 01/05 Parliament. Something, on top of his long service to liberalism, he should have been rewarded for.

  • John Barrett 26th May '17 - 8:09am

    Very sad news.

    He was often a breath of fresh air in a Parliamentary Party and encouraged others to enjoy their time as MPs, which is often not as long as they expect.

  • Bill le Breton 26th May '17 - 9:05am

    How sad. How relatively young.

    That Charles Kennedy chose Paul to be the Chair of his Party Leadership Campaign in 1999 speaks volumes. He was a very large bundle of enthusiasm and energy. A real team player.

    May I suggest people read Adrian’s tribute above very carefully.

  • David Evans 26th May '17 - 9:29am

    A good man who will be sadly missed.

  • Gwyn Williams 26th May '17 - 12:15pm

    A very sad day. I have to concur with Adrian’s comment.I first met Paul at Conference some years before he was elected as MP for Hereford.At one Conference he turned up with his wife and newly born baby.There is nothing unusual in this except that the baby was dressed entirely in Lib Dem yellow.

  • Paul was great Parliamentary colleague, always supportive and above all always cheerful and full of enthusiasm for life. A sad loss.

  • Richard Underhill 30th May '17 - 11:11am

    I met Paul when he was a parliamentary candidate, 100% certain of winning after overwhelmingly good local election results. We talked about apples and cider. There is an obituary in the Daily Telegraph on 30/5/2017.

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