Tag Archives: ruth pentney

Adrian Sanders to stand in Torbay council by-election

Exactly a month ago, the party lost one of its most successful campaigners when Ruth Pentney from Torbay died. Her son Nicholas wrote a wonderful tribute to her here.

Ruth wouldn’t stop working even immediately after electoral victory. Her energy really was that boundless. On election night 2010, I stayed awake long enough to see the Torbay result come in. I was pleased but in no way surprised that Mum had done it again and Adrian had been re-elected. Contented that Torbay was to remain in Lib Dem hands, I went to bed. A few hours later, at approximately 3.30am, I woke to the sound of someone busying themselves somewhere in the house. To my astonishment, I found Mum doing the domestic errands that had been neglected over the course of the election campaign. Apparently, the fact that she had been awake for around 36 hours at this point did not seem to bother her. This was frankly staggering and perhaps even a little bit scary!

Now a by-election is to take place for her Council seat. The candidate will be the man she got elected so many times, Adrian Sanders, the former MP for Torbay. He represented the ward way back in 1984. The Western Morning News has more:

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Obituary: Ruth Pentney, Councillor, agent and dedicated activist

Ruth Pentney“F*** off!” That was Ruth’s succinct response to those who requested her to back ‘Lib Dems 4 Change’ and their ill-fated attempt to oust Nick Clegg as leader in the summer of last year. That two worded response aptly illustrates the three worded summary of Ruth given by former Torbay MP Adrian Sanders, when he described her as: “tenacious, dependable and loyal.”

Attracted by the ‘self-help’ tradition that the party was closely associated with, Ruth joined the Liberals in the early 1970s. Having known what it means to be poor, she saw the hope that the  Liberals could inspire in deprived communities. She fiercely rejected the individualistic values of the Conservatives and the statism of Labour. Only the Liberals offered the vision of an equal society in which communities, once unburdened by the oppression of poverty, could stand on their own feet and strive for the good of all their members. Inspired by this vision she would go on to spend the next four decades passionately fighting to advance the cause of liberalism, and in the mid-nineties she would help turn Torbay yellow whereas before it had only ever been blue.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 8 Comments
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