Wales Pays Tribute To Charles Kennedy

Welsh Politicians have paid tribute to former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy.

The 55-year-old passed away at his home in Fort William.

His family have described him as a “fine man” and a “loving father”.

Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats and AM for Brecon and Radnor, Kirsty Williams said he was a “very special person”:

“Charles was an amazing man. He was kind, generous and warm-hearted.

“My proudest memory will be when he stood up to the Blair Government in opposing sending British troops out to Iraq.

“He was subjected to terrible personal abuse. He was called a coward, he was called a yellow-belly and yet he fought for what he believed in and he stuck to his principles.”

First Minister Carwyn Jones said he’ll be greatly missed by all parties:

“55 is no age. He was very young.

“He was somebody who was a real shining star in British politics and will be sadly missed.”

While, Shadow Economy Minister and Ynys Mon AM Rhun ap Iorwerth said he was in shock at the news:

“He was just 10 years or so older than me and of a generation that was influential on myself.

“I met him on several occasions while I was working as a correspondent in the mid 90s, when Charles Kennedy was in full flow.

“He was a man that proved the rigors of politics can take their toll, but I’m sure his legacy will live on as a man of real integrity and who could engage with people from all walks of life.”

Others paid tribute on social media.

Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Welsh Conservatives, tweeted:

“Shocked to learn of the passing of Charles Kennedy. At just 55, another taken too soon. Thoughts with his family, friends and colleagues.”

And Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood wrote:

“Saddened to hear about the passing of Charles Kennedy. My thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this sad time.”

A special session will be held in Parliament for the 55-year-old on Wednesday.