MPs and councillors across Greater Manchester have taken to social media to pay tribute to former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy, who has died at the age of 55.
The Scottish former MP’s passed away at his Fort William home last night, however, his death is not being treated as suspicious.
MPs including Lucy Powell, Jonathan Reynolds and Ivan Lewis shared their condolences on Twitter for the ‘instinctively likable’ late MP who lost his Ross, Skye and Lochaber constituency to the SNP in last month’s general election.
Incredibly sad news this morning of Charles Kennedy’s death. A decent and genuine man with the best of motivations for being in public life
— Jonathan Reynolds MP (@jreynoldsMP) June 2, 2015
Really shocked and saddened by the news of Charles Kennedy’s death. He was a principled, passionate and devoted politician. It’s a sad day.
— Lucy Powell (@LucyMPowell) June 2, 2015
I didn’t know Charles Kennedy very well. But 1 of few politicians who public instinctively liked for his authenticity+decency. Very sad day.
— Ivan Lewis (@IvanLewis_MP) June 2, 2015
Councillors from across Greater Manchester also paid tribute to Kennedy, who entered Parliament in 1983 at the tender age of 23 as a member of the SDP and later went on to lead the Democrats to their best election in 2005, where they clinched 63 seats in the House of Commons.
Very, very sad thing to lose Charles Kennedy
— Simon Wheale (@simonwheale) June 2, 2015
So sad to hear of the death of Charles Kennedy a great talented man RIP
— Garth Harkness (@garthharkness) June 2, 2015
My prayer today for Charles Kennedy and his family “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un” and link to his 2003 speech https://t.co/xKqZPtfMDC
— Cllr Sufrana Ismail (@Cllr_Bolton) June 2, 2015
Known not only for being the only major party leader to deplore the Iraq war and the only Lib Dem MP to vote against the 2010 coalition, Kennedy became a household name by making numerous stints on satirical panel shows like Have I Got News For You.
Following his sudden death at his home in Scotland, a statement was released on the behalf of Kennedy’s family this morning.
It 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 post-mortem and we will issue a further statement when funeral arrangements are made.”
Nick Clegg described his predecessor Lib Dem leader as a ‘gifted politician’ while PM David Cameron paid tribute to Kennedy’s friends and family.
Charles Kennedy was one of the most gifted politicians of a generation, he always spoke with great humour, humility and courage.
— Nick Clegg (@nick_clegg) June 2, 2015
I’m deeply saddened by the death of Charles Kennedy. He was a talented politician who has died too young. My thoughts are with his family.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) June 2, 2015
Image courtesy of the Liberal Democrats, with thanks.