Charles Kennedy, former LibDem leader, dies aged just 55

CHARLES KENNEDY, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats, has died at his home in Fort William, his family announced this morning (June 2).
The former MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber was aged 55, and was the father of a young son. The gifted and charming politician was elected to parliament for the constituency in the Highlands, at the age of just 23, and succeeded Paddy Ashdown as leader of the LibDems in 1999. He saw the party through two general elections, including its biggest result, winning 62 seats in 2005.
In the same period he led parliamentary opposition to the 2003 Iraq war, a position that John Prescott said, in his tribute today, he would be remembered for: “He proved to be right on Iraq. History will be as kind to him as he was to others. A great loss.”
He stood down from the leadership role in 2006, after bouts of ill health, and publicly discussed the problems he’d had with alcohol. In 2010, he voted against joining the Conservatives in coalition.
Politicians from across the spectrum have, this morning talked of him as a man of principle, and a genuine personality who will be sorely missed.
His family released the news via a statement which read: “It is with great sadness, and an enormous sense of shock, that we announce the death of Charles Kennedy. Charles died at home in Fort William yesterday. He was 55. We are obviously devastated at the loss.”
“Charles was a fine man, a talented politician and a loving father to his young son. We ask therefore that the privacy of his family is respected in the coming days. There will be a postmortem and we will issue a further statement when funeral arrangements are made.”

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