Former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy has died at his home in Fort William, Scotland, at the age of 55
Simon Walker, IoD director general, and David Watt, executive director of IoD Scotland, have paid tribute to the politician, who lost his seat in last month’s general election.
“The untimely passing of Charles Kennedy is very sad for all of us. While he recently left Parliament after serving his constituents for over 30 years, he would have remained a force in politics as an energetic player in the forthcoming European referendum debate.
“This energy and enthusiasm was a mark of all he did and it will be most missed in his old stamping ground of Lochaber. He was great company, genuine and engaging, and will leave Scottish and British politics poorer for his absence.
“His career reminds us of the huge demands placed on politicians in the age of constant media scrutiny, and the pressures it imposes on them as human beings. Nearly all politicians run for office for the best of reasons, and this was particularly true of Charles Kennedy, a politician of great integrity.”
Kennedy was first elected MP for Ross, Cromarty and Skye in 1983 at the age of 23, and went on to lead his party from 1999 to 2006, giving them their best result since the 1920s in the 2005 general election.