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Friday, 5 June 2015
Former Lib-Dem leader dies at home‘A day before the election I got a text saying: ‘There is always hope – health remains fine,” Campbell wrote on his blog.
Former Lib-Dem leader Charles Kennedy had died at his home in Fort Williams, aged 55.
The politician, who struggled with alcoholism was found dead in his home by his partner Carol Macdonald, the widow of his best friend and fellow politician Murdo Macdonald.
During last month’s elections, Kennedy lost his Ross, Skye and Lochaber seat to the SNP and his friends and family have said that he was ‘heart broken and devastated’ by the loss and have also stated that he was ill both before and after the elections.
Concerns about Kennedy’s health, particularly his drinking, grew following his defeat. His friends including journalist, Alistair Campbell, kept in constant contact with him, to ensure that he was well and not drinking. On the night before his death however, it is believed that he went out drinking and his close friend Lord Oakeshott lamented that ‘it was the drink that got him.’ While police have ruled out foul play in the case if Kennedy, and find suicide highly unlikely, it is strongly believed that illness as a result of his alcohol addiction is likely to have been the cause of his death.
‘A week later, health still fine, we chatted about the elections, and he did sound pretty accepting of what had happened. He said in some ways he was glad to be out of it. I am not totally sure I believed him, but he had plenty of ideas of how he would spend his time, how we would make a living, and most important how he would continue to contribute to political ideas and political life.
‘He was a very good friend. I just wish that we, his friends, had been able to help him more, and that he was still with us today’.
Kennedy first made his way into politics in 1983, at the tender age of 23, making him the youngest person to become an MP in Britain. In 1999 he became the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, which he headed for nearly 2 decades, leading them in one of their most successful elections. In 2006, however, his growing drinking problems forced him to step down from his position as leader of the Liberal Democrats, and led to the subsequent break down of his marriage. Several politicians and other public figures have expressed sadness over Kennedy’s death.
“I’m deeply saddened by the death of Charles Kennedy,” Cameron tweeted. “He was a talented politician who died too young. My thoughts are with his family.”
Former Lib-Dem leader Nick Clegg also expressed his condolences on Twitter.
“Charles Kennedy was one of the most gifted politicians of a generation…” Clegg wrote. “He always spoke with great humour, humility and courage.”
Kennedy leaves behind one 10 year-old son, as well as his partne