Charles Kennedy film tribute gets minute’s applause

The eight minute film showed clips from Charles Kennedy's various media appearances. Picture: John Devlin
The eight minute film showed clips from Charles Kennedy's various media appearances. Picture: John Devlin
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Liberal Democrat members paid an emotional tribute to former leader Charles Kennedy, offering the late MP a minute’s applause following a film dedicated to his life and career.

The film, which ran for about eight minutes, featured a series of clips of Mr Kennedy in the media, in the House of Commons and on public demonstrations.

Much of the film focused on his powerful opposition to the Iraq war, where as party leader he stood apart from the political mainstream in opposing the 2003 invasion.

Past and present leaders of the Liberal Democrats paid warm tributes to Mr Kennedy, who led his party from 1999 to 2006 and in two general election campaigns.

Mr Kennedy died at his home in Fort William in June.

In the film, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said: “You were the 27-year-old who wowed the SDP conference, persuading the SDP to merge with the Liberals – that’s why we as a party exist.

“You led us through the Iraq war and gave us our heart, you gave us our principles, you gave us that position that brought so many people to us. You led us during the campaign in 2005 where I gained my seat – I wouldn’t be an MP without you.

“You were a hero before I met you and you became a friend once I became a Member of Parliament. I will miss you massively, we will miss you massively.”

Mr Farron will make a further tribute in his main conference speech today. Among others featured in the film were Nick Clegg, Baroness Shirley Williams and Lord David Steel.

The film closed with a clip of Mr Kennedy’s 1999 party conference speech. He said: “At any given point in this country, 55 million people and citizens, three people are given the chance of leading a British political party. Three, out of 55 million. And you have given me that chance and all the responsibility that goes with it.”