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Statement by the European Movement UK on the passing of Charles Kennedy, European Movement President 2004-2015.

June 2, 2015 4:40 PM
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

The death of Charles Kennedy is a massive loss not just to politics in general but, most specifically, to the European Movement and all those who believe in the importance of the European Union and the UK's place within it.

From the very start of his political career he was passionate about the European Union's role in preserving peace, security and justice on our continent and he never wavered from his commitment to the European cause.
Peter Luff (European Movement Director 1986-1992 and Chairman 2004-2010) said 'When I had the pleasure of inviting Charles to become the President of the European Movement in 2004, he accepted with alacrity and enthusiasm and did all he could in parliamentary speeches and during his many television appearances, to promote not just the cause but the European Movement itself. He attended European Movement meetings throughout the country and his contributions were always full of the warmth and wit for which he was so well known. Working closely with his assistant Sian Norris-Copson, he was always available to us and his loss to the 'Yes' campaign in the forthcoming referendum will be incalculable.'
Laura Sandys, who is the current Chair of the European Movement, said 'Charles saw the UK's place at the top table in Europe always part of the decision making and always shaping our continent's future. An international, outward looking voice, he continually made the case for a strong UK in a progressive Europe. We at the movement will miss his voice, his counsel and his energy very deeply.
Petros Fassoulas, Chair of the European Movement from 2010-2014, said 'Charles was a true inspiration, his support and guidance helped me personally and the Movement as a whole to navigate difficult waters. He was always available and kind, full of wise words and good advice, with great humour, generous with his time and devoted to others in a rare way. His loss leaves a huge void and a profound sense of sadness'.
Everyone in the Movement sends our warmest condolences to his family. We owe him a great deal and the fight to keep Britain in the EU won't be the same without him. When we win the referendum, as we most surely will, we must remember all that Charles did in creating the ground work for our success. He will be missed enormously both personally and politically.