Hitchin’s Liberal Democrat ‘Hackney heroine’ pays tribute to former leader Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy, who died in the early hours of this morning.

Charles Kennedy, who died in the early hours of this morning. - Credit: Archant

The woman who fought the Hitchin and Harpenden seat for the Liberal Democrats in last month’s general election has paid tribute to former party leader Charles Kennedy, who died unexpectedly this morning.

Pauline Pearce who fought the seat of Hitchin and Harpenden for the Lib Dems paid her tribute to the

Pauline Pearce who fought the seat of Hitchin and Harpenden for the Lib Dems paid her tribute to the late Charles Kennedy. - Credit: Archant

Charles Kennedy, who died unexpectedly this morning.

Pauline Pearce – who attended Purwell Primary School, Hitchin Girls’ School and North Hertfordshire College – told the Comet she was saddened by the death of the popular politician, who was 55.

“Charles was a really nice man,” said Pauline, who was hailed the ‘Hackney heroine’ after she confronted looters outside her home during the London riots of 2011.

“He was always very positive and warm towards me and many others.


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“I came across him in Lib Dem circles and we would have a coffee together when I saw him at party conferences and the like.

“I didn’t know him as well as say Nick Clegg, but I always had a huge amount of respect for him – both as a politician and a person.

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“He simply got on with everyone, and liked to help people. He was a dear man.

“He once told me: ‘Well done for taking on those looters’ in the riots – but he also gave me encouragement in terms of me contesting the Hitchin seat, and told me: ‘Don’t give up when times are tough’.

“I am extremely shocked and very saddened at his death. I just want to pass my respect and condolences on to his family.

“It is a sad day for politics, not just for the Liberal Democrat party.”

Robin Parker is the leader of the Lib Dem party at Stevenage Borough Council and said: “I never met him but it is obviously very sad that he has died. He was well liked and a very good speaker who showed good judgement on a lot of issues, especially the Iraq war.”

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