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Ex-Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy dies aged 55

Former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy has died aged 55, his family has said.

Charles Kennedy has died aged 55. Credit: PA Wire

Mr Kennedy died at his home in Fort William yesterday.

His death is not believed to be suspicious and the cause of death is yet to be confirmed.

He lost his seat in the Ross, Skye and Lochaber constituency to the SNP's Ian Blackford in last month's general election.

In a statement, his family said the 55-year-old was a "fine man, a talented politician, and a loving father".

Local Lib Dems back Carmichael in leaked memo row

Alistair Carmichael initially denied responsibility for the leaked memo. Credit: PA Wire

Liberal Democrats in Alistair Carmichael's Orkney and Shetland constituency are backing the former Scottish Secretary amid a police investigation into his election smear tactics and a growing online campaign to have him removed.

Carmichael leaked an unsubstantiated memo claiming Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish National Party (SNP) leader, had expressed support for the Conservatives, and initially denied any responsibility for the leak.

Local party members have voiced disappointment at Carmichael's conduct, but urged his constituents to give him "a fair hearing" rather than giving in to "mob rule" and the "increasingly personal and unpleasant political motivation of the SNP and the Yes campaign".

The members agreed that Alistair [Carmichael] has rightly taken full responsibility and has apologised to all concerned, not least to the people of Orkney and Shetland ... and he retains the full confidence of the executive.

– Shetland Liberal Democrats executive committee

Alistair Carmichael 'won't resign' over leaked memo

Liberal Democrat MP and former Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael, who is at the centre of a row over a leaked memo, has told ITV News that he will not resign over the issue.

But Mr Carmichael still faces anger over his admission that he sanctioned the release of the document during the election campaign about the SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and her alleged preference for Prime Minister.

ITV News correspondent Martin Geissler reports:


Police look into complaint over Carmichael memo leak

Police have confirmed they are looking into a complaint made against Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael over his involvement in a leaked memo about SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: "We can confirm that a complaint has been received and inquiries are ongoing to establish whether there is any criminality."

Commons 'would be emptied fast if every lying MP was sacked'

If every MP that lied was subsequently sacked, the House of Commons would be emptied "very fast", the former deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats has said.

Sir Malcolm Bruce at the Scottish Liberal Democrats Spring Conference in March. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Sir Malcolm Bruce made the comments in a defence of party colleague Alistair Carmichael, who has faced calls for his resignation over a leaked memo alleging Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon privately wanted David Cameron to win the General Election.

Carmichael, the only remaining Lib Dem MP in Scotland, has apologised to Sturgeon and the French ambassador to the UK after the Cabinet Office found he bore responsibility for the sharing of the document with the Telegraph.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Sir Malcolm said: "If you're suggesting every MP who has never quite told the truth or indeed told a brazen lie, including ministers, including Cabinet ministers, including prime ministers, we'd clear out the House of Commons very fast, I would suggest."

Questioned further on the apparent claim that lying in public life was widespread, he said: "No. Well, yes - I think the answer is lots of people have told lies and you know that to be perfectly true."

"But Alistair has taken consequences. He has apologised. He's indicated had he been a minister he would resign. He's forfeited his severance pay," he added.

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