Thorpe tribute

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Elegant, languid and wonderfully fluent, Jeremy Thorpe was a gifted and popular politician who helped revive the Liberal party after its near-death exper­ience in 1945 (your report, 5 December). His passionate advocacy of human rights and veh­ement opposition to apartheid in South Africa drew a new generation to the party in a period of political uncertainty.

Educated at Eton and Oxford, he would appear today unmistakably and unalarmingly gay, but to the post-war generation his sexual orientation was both illegal and threatening.

His career ended when he was charged with conspiracy to murder an alleged lover and he was perhaps fortunate to have George Carman in his corner and Mr Justice Cantley on the bench.

(Dr) John Cameron

Howard Place

St Andrews