Lib Dem Peer Brian Cotter has died

Sad news this morning. Brian Cotter, who was made a Lib Dem Peer in 2006 after representing Weston Super Mare in the Commons between 1997 and 2005, has died.

The Lib Dem Whips Office made the announcement on Twitter:

It is with sadness that we have to let you know that our own Brian Cotter died peacefully earlier today surrounded by his wife and children. Brian was a proud small business man who spent 8 years in the Commons and 17 in the Lords. He will be missed. Condolences to his family.

Brian was 87.

Please share your memories of him in the comments.


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  • Brian Cotter persuaded me to join the then Liberal Party.

    A very dynamic campaigner and part of the local upsurge in Woking in the 80’s which led to first LD council ever in Woking subsequently.

  • I should add that ever since, there’s been a strong LD presence in Woking. And a couple of years ago, after the Tory council’s disastrous handling of local finances creating a 2bn pound deficit through utterly foolish property deals, the LDs again took control.

    Woking is now a target seat at Westminster level.

  • Very sad news. One of the good guys.

  • Adrian Sanders 14th Nov '23 - 4:11pm

    One of nicest MPs I worked with and always willing to chat. He was also possibly the best known Liberal Democrat in the Peoples Republic of China given the number of interviews he was often doing with the Chinese media. Something to do with a contact he made once that got him on their MPs to go to list. Others may know better. Very sad to hear he is no longer with us. I will call for a minutes silence at the joint Western counties Devon & Cornwall conference this weekend.

  • Mark Williams 14th Nov '23 - 9:31pm

    A genuinely lovely man and a great friend to many. I remember bumping into Brian on literally the day I first arrived in the Commons for the first time in 2005, just as he was leaving. When he returned as a peer we struck up a great friendship, which involved our annual trips to France to support the exiled democratic Iranian opposition, frequents meetings for that cause and general election campaigning visits to Ceredigion, where he was always popular. He was proud of his role in the APPG on China, his former small business career, and was staunchly loyal to Charles Kennedy, but especially proud of his children and their achievements.
    The 2015-2017 Parliament proved quite lonely as one of only 8 MP’s but Brian proved an invaluable, loyal and supportive friend, always dispensing sound advice. My family and I loved visiting him and Eyleen in Weston. But he was no fair weather friend. When I lost in Ceredigion, he was one of the first to call, and our meet ups in London and Paris continued though less often, until his ill health took its toll.
    Brian Cotter devoted years of his life to this Party, and for that we should all be grateful.
    Deepest condolences to Eyleen and the family

  • Steve Comer 15th Nov '23 - 8:00am

    I met Brian in the mid-1990s, and in 1997 helped in Weston and ran one of the Committee Rooms. I had a good chat with him when he stopped for a quick refreshment break in a quiet period on Polling Day. I went home when the results were coming in, ITV had people at the count and were broadcasting unofficial results. When they said Brian had won Weston I rang him on his mobile and asked if it was true. “Yes it’s true he said, but sorry I’ve got to go as the Returning Officer is just coming on stage to declare it!”

  • As one of Lord Cotter’s distant successors representing Mount Hermon West on Woking Borough Council, this is very sad to hear. He was a stalwart of the party we have developed to become today.

  • Chris Moore 15th Nov '23 - 4:41pm

    I was a leafletter teller and knocker up in the campaign where Brian first won Mount Hermon.

    He was indefagitably optimistic of our prospects in a previously safe Tory area and drove everyone to do more.

  • Brian was my first cousin I enjoyed meeting him whenever I traveled to London. He will be missed

  • Grace Collins 20th Nov '23 - 9:56am

    One of the loveliest, gentlest men in politics. He was fair, generous and understanding.

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