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Live Reporting

By Jo Perry, Graham Fraser and Louise Sayers

All times stated are UK

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  1. Live updates ending

    And with that, it's time to bring today's live online coverage to a close.

    The BBC Scotland news website has the latest information, background and reaction to the death of Charles Kennedy.

  2. Flag at half mast

    Glasgow University tweets: Flag at half-mast in memory of our highly regarded alumnus and former Rector Charles Kennedy.

    Half mast flag
  3. Special Charles Kennedy programme

    Scotland 2015

    BBC Two Scotland

    Tonight at 10.30pm we'll have a special programme on the life and legacy of former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy.

  4. VIDEO: Fort William residents recall 'great man'

    People in Charles Kennedy's hometown of Fort William recall "a great man" who was "a joker at school".

    Constituents give their views on Charles Kennedy

    In this video his constituents and people he knew personally have spoken fondly of a man who will be remembered for "all the good things" he did.

  5. Danny Alexander: 'The Charles Kennedy I knew'

    Former Lib Dem MP Danny Alexander was a party colleague of Charles Kennedy for many years.

    Danny Alexander and Charles Kennedy

    Mr Alexander has written a blog about The Charles Kennedy I knew for the Spectator.

  6. John Pienaar: My memories of Charles

    The BBC's Chief political correspondent John Pienaar has been recalling his memories of Charles Kennedy:

    "Shoulder-to-shoulder with vastly more experienced colleagues, bantering with much older, seasoned political hacks and showing a grasp of what no-one then referred to as the 'big picture'.

    "He made you laugh and he made you listen. And that was why he became leader of his party."

    Charles Kennedy
  7. Reporting Scotland @ 18:30

    BBC Scotland News

    Coming up on Reporting Scotland, tributes from old school friends to former MP Charles Kennedy who has died aged 55.

    Newspaper clipping from local press

    Watch the programme live.

  8. 'Never on top' of alcoholism

    BBC News Channel

    Former Labour strategist Alastair Campbell, who was a long-term friend of Charles Kennedy, told the BBC News Channel that he never felt Mr Kennedy was "truly on top" of his alcohol problem.

    Alastair Campbell

    Mr Campbell said: "He did take a long time to confront it. I think that because I'd had my own problems with alcohol I think I may have been one of the first people that he came to.

    "I can remember we went for a walk in his constituency and he said 'look, you know what, I think I do have a problem'... I do think if Charles had maybe confronted it earlier he might have ended up with a happier existence."

  9. Lib Dems book of condolence

    The Liberal Democrats have invited members of the public to submit messages for inclusion in a book of condolence, that will be passed on to Mr Kennedy's family.

    Charles Kennedy book of condolence

    You can find it here.

  10. 'He will be missed in Europe debate'

    Speaking on BBC Newsdrive

    BBC Radio Scotland

    The former leader of the Liberal Democrats Lord Steel told Newsdrive that Mr Kennedy was a principled politician and a valued friend.

    He said: "He was a great character. He had a wonderful sense of humour as well as strong convictions, so he was a delight to have supper or dinner with on occasion."

    Lord Steel

    Lord Steel continued: "I think he would have played a major part in the upcoming referendum on Europe. He was president of the European movement and he felt very strongly on that issue, so he would have been on natural territory all over the country , had he lived.

    "I think we will miss him greatly in that campaign."

  11. Charles Kennedy: A political contact and a chum

    Brian Taylor

    Political editor, Scotland

    Anecdotes and wry observations spilled from Charles Kennedy. He had an acute intelligence and a thoroughgoing comprehension of contemporary politics.

    Charles Kennedy

    But his style was frequently conversational and companionable, rather than didactic or driven.

    Read my blog in full. for my thoughts and memories of Charles Kennedy.

  12. Charles Kennedy's early life

    Born in Inverness he grew up on the family croft at Lochyside in Lochaber in the shadow of Ben Nevis, with his late and extremely musical parents Ian and Mary.

    He attended Lochyside Roman Catholic Primary School just a stone's throw away from his home, and later Lochaber High School, where he honed his debating skills.

    Fellow pupil and journalist Hugh Dan MacLennan told of how Charles used to practice oration during lunchtime, while the other boys played football and shinty.

    Winning the election in 1983

    After being awarded an honours degree at Glasgow University, Charles Kennedy was offered a Fulbright Scholarship to the United States.

    He returned from America the states agreeing to fight the seemingly 'no hope' seat Ross, Cromarty and Skye for the SDP in 1983.

    He won and Britain's youngest MP at the time went on attribute his continued success in the seat to his strong Highland roots.

  13. Politicians from all parties have paid tribute

    Nick Clegg: "Charles Kennedy was one of the most gifted politicians of a generation, he always spoke with great humour, humility and courage."

    Paddy Ashdown: "He had his difficulties, he had his demons...but on form and on song, he was the best of us by a mile."

    Alastair Campbell: "A lovely man, a talented politician, and a great friend."

    John Bercow: "Charles had that rare and uncanny capacity to cut through to large numbers of voters of all political persuasions and of none right across the country."

    David Cameron: "He was a talented politician who has died too young. My thoughts are with his family."

    Tony Blair: "He was throughout his time [in parliament] a lovely, genuine and deeply committed public servant."

    Gordon Brown: "I recognised his ability and asked him to join the Labour Party. He politely declined."

    Lord Rennard: "CK' as he was often known, was one of remarkably few people in politics who would find appropriate, but sometimes unusual words, to understand and express peoples' emotions. Many of us will struggle to do that now."

    Charles Kennedy

    Danny Alexander: "We will miss him more than words can say."

    Willie Rennie: "...that cheeky smile, that Highland voice, and just a few well chosen words: He was able to catch my political heart and many people right across the nation."

    Nicola Sturgeon: "A lovely man and one of the most talented politicians of his time. Gone too soon."

    Alex Salmond: "When it came to a decision when the establishment was facing one way and the people were facing the other way, he took the side of the people."

    Jim Murphy: "In years to come we will remember with a smile the delight in knowing him, his huge contribution to politics and a life lost too soon."

    Lord McConnell: "Talented, principled and extremely likeable over the 35 years since we first met. Very sad."

    Henry McLeish: "He was an easy man to like and above all else a real patriot, and always concerned with social justice."

    Nigel Farage: "I am very sorry to hear the news about Charles Kennedy, he was always a polite and decent man."

  14. Recap: Death of Charles Kennedy

    The news that former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy had died at his home in Fort William broke early this morning.

    Mr Kennedy's family announced the death of the 55-year-old, saying that they were "obviously devastated at the loss".

    Charles Kennedy

    In a statement, police said they were called to Caberfeidh Cottage - Mr Kennedy's home - on Monday evening, after being alerted to the sudden death of a 55-year-old man.

    They confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances and said a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.

    Tributes have been paid from politicians from across the political spectrum, as well as from friends, colleagues, constituents, and commentators.

  15. From the Glasgow Uni archive...

    Glasgow University have been remembering Charles Kennedy's time at the university.

    He was a graduate MA (Hons) 1982, President of the GUU 1980-81, won the British Observer Mace for University Debating 1982, honorary graduate in 2001 and Rector for two terms: 2008 and 2011.

    Charles Kennedy young
    Charles Kennedy campaigning to be elected as rector
    Charles Kennedy speaking at Glasgow University
    Charles Kennedy in posed picture at Glasgow University

    You can see the full picture archive of Mr Kennedy's time at the university here.

  16. Wallace: 'Memories can't help but bring a smile'

    Former Deputy First Minister Lord Wallace has spoken of his "profoundly personal" memories of Charles Kennedy.

    He said: "What I will probably remember most were his instinctive humanity, his infectious good humour and his determined, even stubborn commitment to the principles and the values he believed in.

    Lord Jim Wallace speaks to the BBC

    "Much will be written and said about the key moments of his career; but my feelings today are profoundly personal.

    "It's about the loss his family are experiencing, and not least Donald [his son], of whom Charles was intensely proud. It's about the loss to our public life, as he still had much to contribute. It's about the loss of a friend.

    "But even in sadness, memories can't help but bring a smile. It'll be a long time before we see his like again."

  17. Campbell on Kennedy


    Menzies Campbell

    Campbell on Kennedy: "Relations between himself and myself were a bit cool to begin with" but later "we restored the warm and friendly relationship which we had had".

  18. Your memories of Charles Kennedy

    BBC Have Your Say

    BBC News

    What are your memories of Charles Kennedy? Did you meet him?

    You can share your thoughts and photos by emailing If you would be happy to speak further to a BBC journalist, please include a contact telephone number when emailing us your details.

    Charles Kennedy at conference

    Send your pictures and videos to, text them to 61124 (UK) or +44 7624 800 100 (international) or via our WhatsApp number +44 (0)7525 900971.

    Alternatively you can fill in the form at the bottom of this webpage.

  19. 'He went against the tide'

    John Curtice

    Professor of politics at Strathclyde University

    I doubt if Charles Kennedy was surprised he lost his seat. I think the truth is it was quite clear to anybody who had looked at the opinion polls that he was in trouble.

    Charles Kennedy

    Charlie Kennedy, throughout his career, people remember him as a very social person. He is also somebody that during his career he was willing to take risks and to stand on his own. It very clearly marked the leadership of his party.

    Two things - arguing for more taxation for spending on education and opposition to the Iraq war - in 2005 attracted a section of the electorate that was unhappy with new Labour, and that lead to the fact the party got to 62 seats in the general election.

    Charlie Kennedy went against the tide, took risks, and his party profited from them.

  20. Kennedy's heart not in 'Better Together'

    Alex Salmond has said he does not think Charles Kennedy was fully behind the Better Together campaign during the Scottish independence referendum.

    No campaign jacket in Scottish referendum

    The former Scottish first minister told the BBC: "In terms of the independence campaign, I don't think his heart was in the Better Together campaign.

    "His heart would have been in a pro-European campaign - that's the campaign that Charles would have engaged in heart and soul."

  21. 'Chatshow Charlie' was TV hit

    Charles Kennedy's ready wit was never more obviously on display than during his many guest spots on Have I Got News For You - he appeared so often he was dubbed "Chatshow Charlie".

    His 2008 appearance saw stand-in host Jeremy Clarkson introduce him as a man with a "glass half full approach to politics" - a reference to his public struggle with alcohol and a remark Charles Kennedy took with good grace.

    Charles Kennedy on Have I Got News For You

    The long-running show's executive producer said the former Liberal Democrat leader's honesty made him one of the programme's most popular signings.

    "Charles Kennedy was one of the few politicians prepared to appear on Have I Got News For You and show himself as he really was," Richard Wilson said.

    Mr Kennedy became the first serving party leader to join the panel of the TV show.

    After having been a guest on the topical news quiz six times, he enjoyed a turn as host in 2002 following the sacking of Angus Deayton.

  22. Charles Kennedy a look back


    Charles Kennedy

    A look back at the life of former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy.

  23. 'A staggering human being'

    The Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Williams has said she had thought Charles Kennedy "might one day be one of the best prime ministers that the United Kingdom had ever had".

    Shirley Williams

    She described on BBC Radio 4's World At One how the party had struggled over Mr Kennedy's alcoholism.

    "You could never be quite sure he would show up on a particular great occasion; you were always living with uncertainty, always wondering if he was going to be there.

    "There were occasions where he didn't come at all or he came but he was not really in a fit state to deal with the issues that he was trying to talk about.

    "But he was so wonderful when he did get there that you forgave almost everything. He was just a staggering human being."

  24. Sir Menzies Campbell: 'Memory lives on'

    Former Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell appeared on the Daily Politics where he spoke about Charles Kennedy's reluctance to support the Tory/Lib Dem coalition.

    Menzies Campbell

    He told presenter Jo Coburn: "He [Charles Kennedy] never went out his way to damage the coalition, he never went out of the way to damage Nick Clegg. He was a complete and absolute loyalist to the party.

    "Parliament is the less for Charles' going. But his memory will be preserved in the Lib Dems for a long, long time to come."

  25. 'He was so good I invented a job for him'

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Journalist Iain MacDonald from Inverness employed Charles Kennedy while he was a student, to work on Highland Radio one summer.

    He was so impressed with Mr Kennedy's work that he tried to invent a job specifically for him.

    Charles Kennedy young

    He told BBC 5 Live: "I offered him a permanent job. There actually was no job, but he was so good I said to him I'm going to pay you out of the petty cash and we'll keep you on until there's a proper job. And he came back and said, 'No I have to go to the States'.

    "Within that subsequent year he was adopted as a candidate to stand against a government minister -an energy minister at a time when North Sea oil was really providing jobs in this part of the world.

    "And he won at 23 years old, was the youngest MP in parliament at that time since Pitt the younger, and the rest is history."

  26. Charles Kennedy - In numbers

    Eight - The number of general elections he stood in. Won seven, with the one loss coming last month to the SNP

    32 - The number of years he was an MP

    Three - The number of seats he represented - Ross, Cromarty & Skye (1983-1997), Ross, Skye & Inverness West (1997-2005) and Ross, Skye & Lochaber (2005-2015).

    Charles Kennedy on have I Got News for You?

    23 - The age he was when he became the youngest MP in the House of Commons in 1983

    62 - The seats the Liberal Democrats won under his leadership at the 2005 General Election

    Nine - The appearances he made on the Have I Got News For You programme. He hosted the show once in 2002.

  27. 'He left a mark on politics. It left a mark on him'

    Nick Robinson

    Political editor

    The only UK party leader to warn the country of the perils of invading Iraq when Labour and the Conservatives were uniting to support it.

    Charles Kennedy's legacy

    The only Liberal Democrat MP who could not bring himself to vote to form a coalition with the Conservatives (Source - Alex Carlisle).

    The man who took his party to its electoral peak.

    Charles Kennedy left a mark on British politics but it also left its mark on him.

    Read my thoughts on the legacy Charles Kennedy leaves behind.

  28. A life in pictures

    Charles Kennedy spent 32 years a Member of Parliament. Take a look at his life here in pictures.

    Charles Kennedy with his wife and new-born son Donald during election campaign in 2005
  29. Kennedy as a young BBC journalist

    Before he was a politician, Charles Kennedy worked as a journalist with the BBC in the Highlands.

    Charles Kennedy in 1983

    His boss at the time was Iain MacDonald.

    He said: "He was adopted as a candidate for the SDP for the old Ross and Cromarty seat. I do remember a phone call from a still irrepressibly enthusiastic young Kennedy saying 'I think I've got a chance of winning this', proving that the old guys know absolutely nothing.

    "I said 'Don't be silly Charlie, you will do very well but you won't win'. History tells us, he won'."

  30. 'I don't like a world without him in it'

    Caron Lindsay, editor of the Liberal Democrat Voice website, said the country will be shocked at the death of Charles Kennedy.

    She added: "I remember on polling day I spent an hour ringing round people on Ross, Skye and Lochaber getting them out to vote. There was feeling of real love for this guy.

    "As leader, to oppose a war is a big thing. It took a lot of courage to do that. I don't like the idea of world without him in it."

  31. Campbell: 'We were all a bit worried about him'

    Alastair Campbell, who was a close friend of Charles Kennedy, has said there were concerns for the politician following the loss of his parliamentary seat.

    It came just a few weeks after the death of Charles Kennedy's 88-year-old father Ian, in April.

    Alastair Campbell

    Writing in his blog, Mr Campbell wrote: "We were all a bit worried about him after the election."

    "On the night the exit poll made it clear his safe seat was gone, 'Is Charles OK?' became an inquiry of a very different nature. Representing the people of Ross, Skye and Lochaber meant so much to him."

    Mr Campbell also revealed that after his election defeat, Mr Kennedy had sent him a text asking "Fancy starting a new Scottish left-leaning party? I joke not."

    "He said in some ways he was glad to be out of it.

    "I am not totally sure I believed him, but he had plenty of ideas of how he would spend his time, how he would make a living, and, most important, how he would continue to contribute to political ideas and political life."

  32. Charles Kennedy's body discovered by friend

    Police were called out to Charles Kennedy's home in Fort William yesterday after being alerted by the ambulance service.

    Family statement following death of Charles Kennedy

    It is understood that the politician's body was found in the house by a friend.

    The cause of his death is not yet known but it is not thought by police to be suspicious.

  33. Menzies Campbell tribute

    "When politicians are often accused of being out of touch with the public and their electors, that charge could never be levelled against Charles Kennedy.

    Menzies Campbell

    "He had a capacity for communication which was the envy of all other MPs.

    "He will be sadly missed, particularly by his family but by politics and the whole of the United Kingdom."

  34. 'Politics took his life away from him'

    BBC Radio 5 live

    "Charles gave his life to politics, but sadly I think politics took his life away from him", said Scottish broadcaster and sports commentator Hugh Dan MacLennan, who went to school with Charles Kennedy.

    Charles Kennedy loses seat

    "I've been through all these elections with him from a studio. On the final election - what he called himself 'the night of the long skean dhus' - I saw his speech from a studio and I remember thinking at the time: 'Charles has lost his mother, he's lost his father, he's now lost his political seat. This is the end.'

    "I really did think a circle had been squared that night, and for me personally I had a dread for the consequences."

  35. VIDEO: Nicola Sturgeon's tribute

    Watch First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's tribute to the former MP for Skye, Ross and Lochaber.

    Nicola Sturgeon

    Ms Sturgeon said: "Charles Kennedy was one of the most talented politicians of his generation and yet, somehow, he also managed to be universally liked across the political spectrum and indeed further afield".

  36. Bercow recalls 'obvious sincerity'

    "On a personal note, I was always grateful to Charles for his support and encouragement and cooperation.

    "I think I carry the house with me in saying that Charles Kennedy was a principled, progressive and passionate politician and very importantly a proud parliamentarian in an age of pervasive cynicism about politics and politicians.

    Speaker John Bercow

    "Charles had that rare and uncanny capacity to cut through to large numbers of voters of all political persuasions and of none right across the country. He was doubtless assisted by his obvious sincerity, his relaxed style and his geniality.

    "I know he was widely liked and respected in all parts of this house and he will be sadly missed. The house will want to join me in offering our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends."

    Watch John Bercow's tribute here.

  37. Success as Lib Dem leader

    Charles Kennedy led his party to more seats than any other Liberal Democrat leader.

    Kennedy's success as Lib Dem leader
  38. Charles Kennedy in 2003

    Desert Island Discs

    Charles Kennedy appeared on Desert Island Discs in October 2003 with Sue Lawley. He talked about life in politics and chose tunes including one from his renowned fiddle playing father Ian.

    The politician spoke about his rural upbringing and helping his crofter grandfather tend to the cows and hens.

    Listen here...

  39. Speaker tribute to Kennedy

    The Speaker of the House of Commons has led tributes to Charles Kennedy in Westminster.

    John Bercow told the House: "It was with deep sadness, that I must report to the house the death of the former member of Ross, Skye and Lochaber Charles Kennedy. Charles represented his constituency in its various forms in this house for almost 32 years.

    John bercow

    "It is moreover a matter of record that he led his party, the Liberal Democrats from 1999 to 2006, achieving the best parliamentary representation of his party in this house in living memory."

    The Speaker said there would be a session after Prime Minister's Questions tomorrow for MPs to pay tribute.

  40. 'Hugely proud of the Highlands'

    Reporting from Fort William

    Craig Anderson

    BBC Scotland

    There is huge shock and sadness here in the constituency that Charles represented for 32 years.

    He was a boy who grew up on a croft - his father was a crofter - he went to Lochaber High School and when he became an MP he bought the cottage beside his parents croft house.

    He was hugely proud of being somebody from the Highlands, who was representing his Highland constituency.

    And his pride was reflected in people here who voted for him, and people who didn't vote for him but believed that he was representing them in Westminster.

  41. Voter tributes to Charles Kennedy

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Jessie Mellor, 63, knew 'Charlie Kennedy' at Lochaber High School: "Debating was his thing. He was always very interested in politics. You got the sense that he was going to be a 'big person' in politics'."

    Donald, Burnside: "Charles Kennedy was a man of great political courage and integrity. I was in the public gallery in House of Commons in 2003 in the week before the huge "Not in Our Name" anti- Iraq Invasion march in London, which he attended."


    Iain Marshall said: "We went to the same school - Lochaber high school. I was a bit younger than Charles - by about four years. He was active in debating then. You could tell he was going to be bit of a star. He was decent guy even back then. I knew his family as well. I was a piper and his father was a fiddler. My mother taught him at school. A teacher called Mr Bob Dick was instrumental in getting Charles into debating by entering him into a competition, which he won. That was the start of his political career."

    Alison McLeod, from Applecross said: "He was a very good constituency MP. It's a massive constituency but he covered it very effectively, and in person. He was quite often in Applecross, which is a tiny wee place.

    She continued:"He came with Sarah [his wife] and Donald [his son] to reopen our community owned refilling station in 2009, and I think Charles was every bit as excited as his three-year-old son was because Donald was enjoying himself so much, getting to sit in the fire engine. It's the family's loss that you really think of."

  42. 'Nice guy' Gonzo

    In many of the tributes paid to Charles Kennedy this morning, friends and colleagues have commented on his sense of humour.

    This can be seen in this letter that Mr Kennedy sent Phil Lucas, after the comedian asked the former Liberal Democrat leader who his favourite Muppet was.

    Charles Kennedy

    In the letter he wrote: "Thank you very much for your kind letter of support and question regarding the muppets. I am very sorry about the delay in replying.

    "In response to your question I would like to say that my favourite muppet is Gonzo. Even though he is blue he is a nice guy."

  43. 'Great character'

    Ian Blackford, the SNP MP who won Charles Kennedy's seat of Ross, Skye and Lochaber at the general election - ending Mr Kennedy's 32-year tenure in the House of Commons - said that it would have been difficult for the Liberal Democrat.

    Charles Kennedy

    He said: "Charles had represented the seat since 1983.

    "He was well regarded, well respected within the constituency and worked hard for the constituency, so of course I think losing the seat would be something that would be hard to take for anybody, but particularly Charles.

    "I think in his heart of hearts, Charles knew that he was in quite a fight during the course of the last few weeks.

    "I want to pay tribute to his great character, his many strengths.

    "He was a very human individual, someone I knew very well over a long period of time. And one that I think showed great kindness, great friendship to many people."

  44. Charles Kennedy: Memorable quotes

    Charles Kennedy was a gifted politician, who was as well known for his wit, humour and humility.

    Charles Kennedy

    Here are some of his more memorable quotes from his time as an MP:

    In September 2014: "I am enjoying the Loch Ness monster exhibition with my nine-year-old son. I told him it's the world's most famous floating voter".

    On the elevation of Eurosceptic Tory MP Bill Cash in January 2014: "The election to the chairmanship of the European Scrutiny Committee was akin to putting King Herod in charge of a maternity ward".

    In June 2004: "In 21 years of election campaigns I have never kissed a baby".

    In 2006: "I'm a big fan of Puccini. Tosca is great because it has got the lot - murder, politics, sex, intrigue. It is like the whole pastiche of the House of Commons, only with good music".

    In August 2010 Mr Kennedy dismissed claims that he was defecting to Labour, telling the Sunday Mail: "I will go out of this world feet first with my Lib Dem membership card in my pocket."

    You can read more from Mr Kennedy in his own words, here.

  45. 'A brilliant and effective politician'

    In a tribute to Charles Kennedy, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recalled watching Trainspotting in a Melbourne cinema with the former Liberal Democrat leader while on a study trip.

    Nicola Sturgeon

    She said: "There is no doubt this morning that our country is poorer for his passing and my thoughts are with his family and his friends at this time.

    "I've got some very fond memories of Charles Kennedy, he and I went on a study trip to Australia in the mid 1990s and perhaps my fondest memory, if a slightly bizarre one, is the two of us skiving off to see Trainspotting in a Melbourne cinema.

    "I think we were the only two Scots in the audience at the time so we were drawing some strange looks as we were laughing uproariously at jokes nobody else in the audience was getting.

    "So that is a very special memory and one that I will treasure."

  46. Carmichael: 'I shall miss him greatly'

    Scottish Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael has described his late party colleague as "a man of great humour, who could enjoy a joke at his own expense".

    Alistair Carmichael

    Mr Carmichael said: "Much has already been said about his personal warmth as an individual and his ability, as a result, to connect with voters. All that is undoubtedly true but I hope that he will be remembered for a lot more.

    "His political judgement on the decision to go to war in Iraq was a textbook example of how to balance political principle with the demands of national political office.

    "Likewise, his determination not to be drawn in to the inquiries set up after the war by the then Labour government set him apart from the political establishment. "

  47. 'A great liberal'

    Danny Alexander, who until the general election was a senior Liberal Democrat MP, said Charles Kennedy was "one of the most talented politicians of his generation".

    Danny Alexander

    He added: "Charles was a Highlander through and through, a great liberal.

    "He achieved a great deal for the communities he loved in the north of Scotland, and he gave courageous leadership to the opposition to the Iraq war.

    "One of the many consequences of this tragic, untimely loss is that our country will not have the benefit of his sane, principled, and persuasive voice in the debates about Scotland and Europe, two issues he cared passionately about.

    "We will miss him more than words can say."

  48. 'He took the side of the people'

    Former first minister Alex Salmond said Charles Kennedy's greatest attribute as a politician was he had "the common touch".

    Mr Salmond also paid tribute to the former Liberal Democrat leader's strength in opposing the Iraq war.

    Alex Salmond

    He said: "At that time there was enormous pressure on Charles to join the rest of the establishment, to do the right thing, to be part of the grand coalition that was waving people off to war."

    He added: "Charles' ability, and perhaps because of the constituency he represented in the West Highlands, was he had a circle of friends - people he knew and trusted - beyond the 'magic circle' of politics.

    "Therefore, when it came to a decision when the establishment was facing one way and the people were facing the other way, he took the side of the people."

  49. 'We will miss him'

    The Scottish Liberal Democrats have shared images on Facebook of Charles Kennedy in his life and work.

    Pictures shared by the Scottish liberal democrats

    In a statement the party said: "We're all incredibly saddened by the untimely death of Charles Kennedy.

    "Charles devoted his life to public service and served the Highlands faithfully for more than 30 years. His unique combination of political talent, humour humility and compassion made him stand out as a truly gifted and wonderful politician.

    "He was a staunch internationalist and a passionate believer in Britain's role in Europe and Scotland's role in Britain. He was a proud Highlander and a true Liberal.

    "We will miss him."

  50. Clegg: 'Tragic to see his struggle with alcohol demons'

    Nick Clegg has spoken of the "tragedy" of witnessing Charles Kennedy's problems with alcohol, earlier in his career.

    He said: "Charles Kennedy on form, on a good day when he was feeling strong and happy, had more political talent in his little finger than the rest of us put together.

    Nick Clegg and Charles Kennedy

    "That's why everyone felt, and of course still feels today, that it was just so tragic to see someone with such huge gifts also struggle - as many people do - with the demons that clearly beset him and the problems that he acknowledged that he had with alcohol."

  51. 'Our shared enemy - alcohol'

    Tony Blair's former spokesman Alastair Campbell says he and Charles Kennedy had a "shared enemy" in alcohol.

    Alastair Campbell

    In a deeply personal blog, he wrote: "Perhaps another day, if his family are happy with this, I will write in more detail about the discussions we had over the past few years, and what it was like for someone in the public eye facing the demon drink.

    "It was a part of who he was, and the life he had; the struggles came and went, and went and came, but the great qualities that made Charles who and what he was were always there."

    In January, 2006, Mr Kennedy called a leadership contest in the Liberal Democrats after he admitted battling with a drink problem.

  52. 'I asked him to join the Labour Party'

    Gordon Brown recalled trying to persuade Charles Kennedy to join the Labour party shortly after he had been elected as an MP.

    He said: "The first time I met Charles in 1983 - we entered parliament from Scotland at the same time - I had recognised his ability and asked him to join the Labour Party. He politely declined.

    Gordon Brown

    "The last time I was in touch with him was to pass on condolences when his father, with whom he remained very close, sadly died just before the 2015 election.

    "No one will forget the skills Charles demonstrated - with his undoubted ability to debate, lead and persuade - in bringing the Liberal Democrats to life, in arguing against the Iraq War and in putting the case for Scotland in the UK and Britain in Europe.

    "My thoughts, and those of Sarah, are with his family and his young son of whom he was intensely proud."

  53. 'I wished he was Labour'

    Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy said Scotland, and the whole United Kingdom, had lost a 'political giant'.

    He said: "Although we came from different political traditions, Charles was a man I was proud to call a friend.

    "When I was first elected to the House of Commons back in 1997 as a young 29-year old, Charles was one of the first people to offer me support and guidance. He didn't have to, but he did. That's just the kind of man he was.

    Jim Murphy

    "Despite the sadness, those of us who knew him will remember the good times.

    "We will look back at Charles' wit and good humour. In years to come we will remember with a smile the delight in knowing him, his huge contribution to politics and a life lost too soon.

    "The greatest tribute I could pay to Charles is that I always wished he was Labour, because he was so talented and popular with the general public. He will be sadly missed across Scotland and the whole United Kingdom."

  54. 'A loving father'

    A statement released on behalf of Charles Kennedy's family said: "It is with great sadness, and an enormous sense of shock, that we announce the death of Charles Kennedy.

    Charles Kennedy kissing his bride Sarah Gurling

    "Charles died at home in Fort William yesterday. He was 55. We are obviously devastated at the loss.

    Charles Kennedy with his wife Sarah and their new born son Donald James Kennedy

    "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."

  55. 'He transcended party politics'

    In a statement, the Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said: "He was a politician who transcended party politics and his gentle warmth always conveyed an intelligent humanity when he spoke.

    "My thoughts and prayers go to his family."

  56. Police outside Charles Kennedy's home

    Picture update

    In a statement, Police Scotland said they were called to Charles Kennedy's home at Caberfeidh cottage in Fort William on Monday evening, following the sudden death of a 55-year-old man.

    Police outside Caberfeidh cottage in Fort William
    Police outside Caberfeidh cottage in Fort William,
  57. 'My eyes are red this morning'

    Willie Rennie said that it was Charles Kennedy who ensured his election victory in the Dunfermline by-election in 2006. He said: "The campaign was on its knees.

    "We had had a series of political catastrophes. Charles had agreed to come and help the Friday before polling day.

    "I still remember being in Dunfermline High Street with this pack of journalists following us. A little lady from the side shouts 'We love you Charles'.

    It just lit up the whole place. I won a few days later, and I put that down to Charles Kennedy's intervention.

    "My eyes are red this morning, and I am sure many other people's eyes will be red."

  58. 'He caught my political heart'

    Willie Rennie, the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, said he was "absolutely devastated" by the news of Charles Kennedy's passing.

    Willie Rennie

    He said: "I only met him 12 days ago in Glasgow to discuss the future of his political career because he had so much yet to give.

    "It was that cheeky smile, that Highland voice, and just a few well chosen words. He was able to catch my political heart and many people right across the nation."

  59. 'A unique character'

    Former Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Tavish Scott told BBC Radio Scotland: "The tributes that are paid to him do reflect how popular he was across politics because he just didn't do partisan politics, he was far better than that.

    Tavish Scott

    "He was a unique character who brought the best of our discourse and our discussions of what we should be as a country together and I just think the loss is incalculable, not just to the party but to the wider politics."

    He added: "Charles was not just a great communicator but a great commentator as well.

    "He analysed politics, he knew the people, he understood what made people tick."

  60. 'A lively and inventive mind'

    Former prime minister Tony Blair said: "Charles' death is an absolute tragedy.

    Tony Blair

    "He came into parliament at the same time as me in 1983. He was throughout his time a lovely, genuine and deeply committed public servant.

    "As leader of the Liberal Democrats, we worked closely together and he was always great company, with a lively and inventive mind. I am very saddened indeed by this news."

  61. 'Died too young'

    Prime Minister David Cameron said: "I'm deeply saddened by the death of Charles Kennedy. He was a talented politician who has died too young. My thoughts are with his family."

  62. Opik's concern for Kennedy

    Lembit Opik, who was a senior Liberal Democrat MP during Charles Kennedy's leadership of the party, has said he was concerned about Charles Kennedy's wellbeing.

    Lembit Opik

    He told the BBC: "When he lost his seat, I said to people - as recently as last night - this guy has got to get in the House of Lords because he has spent 32 years of a 55-year existence in parliament.

    "Without that support, he is in real danger of dying. We talked about it as openly as that. I was really concerned, because that was the support mechanism for him."

  63. 'Contributed an enormous amount'

    Principal and vice chancellor of the University of Glasgow Professor Anton Muscatelli said: "Charles was a distinguished alumnus of the University of Glasgow and served two terms as rector.

    "He contributed an enormous amount, and was a friend to all who came into contact with him.

    "The thoughts and prayers of all at the University of Glasgow are with Charles's family at this dreadfully sad and tragic time."

  64. Labour politicians pay tribute

    Senior figures from Scottish Labour have paid tribute to Charles Kennedy.

    Former Scottish First Minister Lord McConnell tweets: Stunned to learn that Charles Kennedy has died. Talented, principled and extremely likeable over the 35 years since we first met. Very sad.

    Kezia Dugdale MSP, who is hoping to become leader of the Scottish Labour Party, tweets: Politics has just lost one of its most principled and best advocates. Very sorry to hear Charles Kennedy has passed away.

    Former Scottish First Minister Henry McLeish said: "In my 14 years in parliament he was a politician of great distinction and charm and a man of great humility.

    Henry McLeish

    "He was an easy man to like and above all else a real patriot, and always concerned with social justice.

    "My condolences to his family and friends."

  65. Iraq War was 'defining'

    David Porter

    Westminster correspondent

    I think the Iraq War was defining for Charles Kennedy in a number of ways.

    When he became party leader, he moved the Liberal Democrats away from Labour. Under Paddy Ashdown, there had been joint meetings and at one point it was thought there may be some formal tie-up before Labour got that huge win in 1997.

    Charles Kennedy

    In 2005, after the Iraq War, he took a very deliberate decision that he would campaign against that, when Tony Blair and Conservative leader Michael Howard were saying it was right that Britain had gone to war.

    For him, and the Liberal Democrats, it was a defining period in their development.

  66. 'Principled opposition'

    When he was first elected as the Social Democratic Party (SDP) MP in 1983, Charles Kennedy was the youngest member in the House of Commons at that time.

    Charles Kennedy

    The SDP went on to merge with the Liberal Democrats, and Mr Kennedy eventually became the party leader.

    The man who was nicknamed "Chat Show Charlie" - in part a reference to his appearance on shows such as Have I Got News For You - took over the leadership in 1999 from Sir Paddy Ashdown.

    Mr Kennedy will perhaps be best remembered for his vocal and principled opposition of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

    But his period in charge was brought to an end in January 2006, just days after he publicly admitted he had a problem with alcohol.

  67. 'Greatest privilege'

    Less than a month ago Charles Kennedy said that serving as an MP had been the "greatest privilege" of his life.

    After 32 years in the House of Commons, the 55-year-old - who had fought a very public battle with alcohol - was ousted from his Ross, Skye and Lochaber constituency as the SNP swept the board in May's general election.

    Charles Kennedy

    After the result was announced, he said be would "personally be sorry not to be a voice in the Commons" before adding that he intended to "contribute in whatever way possible to the wider political debate and the activity of the Liberal Democrats".

    He said: "The greatest privilege of my public life over these past 32 years has to be being entrusted with the responsibility of representing this constituency.

    "That is thanks to a generation and more of voters who have extended that trust to me and I hope, looking back over those 32 years, they will feel that it was trust well placed."

  68. 'He was the best of us by a mile'

    "He reached beyond the narrow circle of politics and touched people in ordinary life. That is why he was so loved", the former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown said.

    Paddy Ashdown and Charles Kennedy

    "He was a great orator. He had the ability to move people.

    "His most significant moment undoubtedly was when he went against the political establishment and led the Liberal Democrats into opposition against the Iraq War. History will judge him right on that."

    Lord Ashdown added: "He had his difficulties, he had his demons. We all do. But the question is can you rise above them. Yes, he did.

    "He had a very difficult last few months. He lost his seat, he lost his father. But he rose above that.

    "On form and on song, he was the best of us by a mile."

  69. 'Outstanding politician'

    Scottish Secretary David Mundell tweets on Charles Kennedy: "Stunned to hear about Charles Kennedy. An outstanding Scottish and British politician and really nice guy. Sincere condolences to his family."

    David Mundell
  70. 'Unusual among other politicians'

    Sir Malcolm Bruce, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, said the death of Mr Kennedy, who was best man at his wedding, was unexpected.

    Sir Malcolm Bruce

    "Most of the time he was fine, he was the old Charles. I don't think we were expecting that," he told Sky News.

    "The thing people remember about Charles is he was able to bring such a light touch to politics.

    "All of us really want people to reflect on what we've lost - a politician of his own type and quite unusual among other politicians."

  71. Police statement

    Police officers attended an address in Fort William on the evening of Monday 1st June 2015 following the sudden death of a 55 year-old man.

    Police were notified by ambulance service personnel.

    There are no suspicious circumstances and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.

  72. 'We became chums'

    Brian Taylor

    Political editor, Scotland

    I remember in 1983 when he was first elected. He was 23 years old. It was a rather unexpected victory.

    He had been on a scholarship in the US and returned, and after a couple of weeks campaigning found himself an MP after taking a Conservative seat in Ross and Cromarty.

    I was in the Westminster lobby at the time as a slightly older lobby correspondent. We got together and became chums. I was working for the Press and Journal. He was a very senior MP for me to be covering.

    He was a remarkable individual even then. Talented and driven. He always struck me though as being slightly remote from partisan politics. He never had that killer instinct. He could always see the other side of the perspective.

    He was exceptionally gifted.

  73. 'Highland radical'

    Brian Taylor

    Political editor, Scotland

    He was a modern politician but he came from an extremely old tradition, which is that of the 'Highland radical'.

    Charles Kennedy

    He was an extremely proud rector of Glasgow University, his old university stomping ground.

    He told a story that his tutor called him and said 'Now, young Kennedy, you are bright. What is going to happen with it? Charles went through a few things, possibly academia, and said: 'If all else fails I could try politics'.

    He was elected an MP not long after that, and the tutor wrote him a letter which said 'Dear Charles, it appears that all else failed'.

  74. 'Dreadful news'

    Ian Blackford, the man who unseated Charles Kennedy as the MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, tweeted: "So sorry to hear the dreadful news that Charles Kennedy had passed away. A man of such great ability, such a tragedy he has passed away. RIP

  75. 'Humour and humility'

    Nick Clegg paid tribute to his predecessor as Liberal Democrat leader: "Charles's untimely death robs Britain of one of the most gifted politicians of his generation.

    Nick Clegg

    "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.

    "He was a staunch internationalist and passionate believer in Britain's role in Europe, yet he was a proud Highlander, Scot and British parliamentarian."

    "He was one of the most gentle and unflappable politicians I have ever known, yet he was immensely courageous too not least when he spoke for the country against the invasion of Iraq.

    "He led the Liberal Democrats to our party's greatest electoral successes, yet he always remained modest about his huge achievements.

    "Whenever I asked him for advice, he was unfailingly kind and wise," the former deputy prime minister added.

    "Most of all, I will never forget the pride and love with which he would talk about his own family, most especially his devotion to his son Donald.

    "My heart goes out to his sister and brother and to Sarah and Donald at this tragic time."

  76. 'A formidable politician'

    Norman Smith

    BBC Assistant Political Editor

    A very gregarious outgoing friendly politician, always willing to talk and have a laugh with journalists and others.

    But that shouldn't cloud the fact he was in his time a formidable politician.

    We shouldn't forget that he led the Liberal Democrats to their best result in a long long time when he took a very deliberate and distinct line on the Iraq war.

    That was against the prevailing consensus, with Tony Blair and Michael Howard all lining up in support of the war, but he very deliberately led the Liberal Democrats against that.

  77. 'Principle and decency'

    Paddy Ashdown, another former leader of the Liberal Democrats, tweets: Charles Kennedy. In a political age not overburdened with gaiety and good sense, he brought us wit, charm, judgement, principle and decency

  78. 'We have lost a giant today'

    Tim Farron MP, who is standing to become leader of the Liberal Democrats, tweets: I am utterly heartbroken about the news of Charles' passing. He was a colleague, friend and mentor. We've lost a giant today.

  79. 'Someone who was listened to'

    Glenn Campbell

    Political correspondent, BBC Scotland

    He was brilliant on his feet as a debater and indeed in the television studios, whether that was a heavy-weight programme engaging with political opponents and rivals or on a lighter programme format like Have I got news for you.

    Charles Kennedy on Have I got news for you

    He was somebody who was listen to when he stood up and spoke in the House of Commons.

    It was there in many ways that he built the reputation of himself and his political party, not least in the opposition that the Liberal Democrats led to the war in Iraq.

    It was this, and it was after that period, that he led the Liberal Democrats into an election where they gained strength and reached at that point a new high water mark.

  80. 'Humour, humility and courage'

    Nick Clegg, who stepped down as leader of the Liberal Democrats after the general election, tweets: Charles Kennedy was one of the most gifted politicians of a generation, he always spoke with great humour, humility and courage.

  81. 'Sad beyond words'

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweets: Sad beyond words to hear the news about Charlie Kennedy. A lovely man and one of the most talented politicians of his time. Gone too soon.

  82. Charles Kennedy family statement

    A statement released on behalf of Charles Kennedy's 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."

  83. 'Surprise, shock and sadness'

    David Porter

    Westminster correspondent

    The overwhelming emotions will be one of great surprise, shock and sadness at Westminster. Charles Kennedy was a very popular figure, not just a House of Commons man.

    He was one of those people who had great generosity of spirit. That was recognised by political friends and foes alike.

    Charles Kennedy

    When Charles Kennedy spoke, people tended to listen.

  84. Charles Kennedy dies

    A statement released on behalf of Charles Kennedy's family said it was with great sadness and shock that they announced his death.

    The statement went on to say he was a fine man, talented politician and loving father to his young son.

    His death it not believed to be suspicious - but the cause has yet to be confirmed.

    Charles Kennedy

    His family said Mr Kennedy died at his home in Fort William.

    Charles Kennedy lost his Ross, Skye and Lochaber seat at Westminster in last month's general election to the SNP's Ian Blackford.

    Mr Kennedy had been an MP since 1983 and was leader of the Liberal Democrats between 1999 and 2005.

  85. BreakingBreaking News

    Former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy has died.