Charles Kennedy and Parliament

thThe death of Charles Kennedy came as a great shock.  He will be much missed.  He spent the whole of his working life as an MP and I knew him for most of his years in Parliament.  He was not only a distinguished politician, but also a great House of Commons man.  He took the institution seriously.  This rather distinguished him from Tony Blair when he was Prime Minister.  Charles once told me that whenever he met Blair and raised the issue of parliamentary reform ‘his eyes just glazed over’.

I remember him especially because of his kind words about me, and the report of the Commission to Strengthen Parliament, which I chaired, when the House debated it in July 2000.  (I was going to reproduce his comments, but decided not to as it would be more about me than him.)  His generous speech was typical of the man.  He was thoughtful with no side.   He was also good company.   There was also a Hull link.  He married a Hull graduate, to whom he had been introduced by her brother, a Hull politics graduate.  He is a great loss to British public life.


About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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7 Responses to Charles Kennedy and Parliament

  1. tizres says:

    Listening to the eulogies it is obvious that he touched the minds and souls of many parliamentarians for the good. it is fortunate that this is normal; it is unfortunate that Parliament is portrayed otherwise in our press.

  2. When elected was he the Baby of the House? I seem to recall that and your recent posts bring the subject up. However,I have not checked prior to posting.

  3. maude elwes says:

    Charles Kennedy is another great loss to the honesty of Parliament……..I bet you can count the few left on your fingers now. He, and of course, Robin Cook, both Scots, were a different breed.

    Both these men will turn in their graves if they read todays papers on where the Balir creature is heading now.

    And I’m sure this has to be a fix by the family Bush. They really must want the UK out of Europe to select this guy to promote the ‘lets stay in’ chant.

  4. Lord Norton says:

    franksummers3ba: Yes, he was elected at the age of 23 and was the youngest Member.

  5. Croft says:

    “The death of Charles Kennedy came as a great shock.”

    Really? He’s looked pretty fragile of late…

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