Today we heard the sad news of the death of David Rendel, the kind, inspiring and always principled, former MP for Newbury. Here is his obituary from the West Berkshire Liberal Democrats website:
~~ * ~~ * ~~
Newbury and West Berkshire Liberal Democrats are mourning the loss of David Rendel who died peacefully at home on Monday 16 May 2016 after a battle with cancer.
David was MP for Newbury from 1993 to 2005, having been elected at the historic by-election. His majority of 22,055, the product of the unpopularity of John Major’s Conservative government and the energy and determination of David’s campaigning, remains the highest ever majority in the history of the Liberal Party and Liberal Democrats. The President of Newbury and West Berkshire Liberal Democrats, Christopher Marriage describes the result as “David putting the Liberal Democrats on the map”.
Prior to becoming MP, David Rendel was a Newbury District Councillor from 1987 to 1995. After his period as MP, he continued to serve the people of West Berkshire as a district councillor for Thatcham until 2015.
As MP for Newbury, David was closely associated with successful campaigns for the Newbury by-pass, the new West Berkshire Hospital, a new cinema and the return of Greenham common to the people of West Berkshire.
There will be a private family funeral but all will be welcome at a memorial event to be held in July. Details will follow.
Paying tribute to David Rendel, former Liberal Democrat MP for Newbury who passed away last night, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said:
“I am hugely saddened by the loss of David Rendel. He was a committed, selfless individual who I will remember particularly for his unyielding campaigning over so many years. I will miss him.
“He won a stunning by-election victory in Newbury where he and his team showed the Liberal Democrats had the fight and passion to deliver a fantastic result in a challenging political climate. It was inspirational then, and is inspirational today as Liberal Democrats fight to rebuild.
“His continuing work with the party, standing again as a candidate in the 2010 and 2015 elections, and serving on the party’s Federal Executive typified the resilience, commitment and resolve with which he approached politics.
“He was a friend and colleague who I know will be sorely missed by his friends, family and the party.”
Paddy Ashdown, who led the Liberal Democrats when David was elected to Parliament, said:
“David Rendel will be enormously missed by his friends and family. His by-election triumph in Newbury was exceptional and an important step in driving the Liberal Democrats forward.
“It takes a strength of character to stand for public office, and his continued work campaigning for the Liberals and Liberal Democrats over so many years reflected not only his character but also his strong commitment and belief in the causes he fought for.”