Former leader of the Liberal Democrats Charles Kennedy has died at the age of 55 at his home in Fort William, Scotland.
Mr Kennedy led the Liberal Democrats from 1999 to 2006 and was arguably the party’s most successful leader, winning a record 62 seats for them in the 2005 General Election.
A statement released on behalf of his family said:
“It is with great sadness, and an enormous sense of shock, that we announce the death of Charles Kennedy.
“Charles died at home in Fort William yesterday. He was 55. We are obviously devastated at the loss.
“Charles was a fine man, a talented politician, and a loving father to his young son. We ask therefore that the privacy of his family is respected in the coming days.
“There will be a post-mortem and we will issue a further statement when funeral arrangements are made.”
The cause of death has yet to be announced but a spokesman for Police Scotland said “there are no suspicious circumstances”.
Kennedy lost his seat of Ross, Skye and Lochaber at last month’s General Election.
Former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said: “Charles’s untimely death robs Britain of one of the most gifted politicians of his generation.
“Charles devoted his life to public service, yet he had an unusual gift for speaking about politics with humour and humility which touched people well beyond the world of politics.”