Berkshire

Former Lib Dem MP David Rendel dies after cancer battle

David Rendel
Image caption David Rendel was the Liberal Democrat MP for Newbury from 1993 to 2005

Former MP David Rendel, who won a famous parliamentary by-election victory for the Liberal Democrats, has died at the age of 67.

He had been suffering from cancer for some time and passed away at his Berkshire home on Monday evening.

In 1993, Mr Rendel won a 28% swing from the Tories in Newbury and retained his seat in two subsequent elections.

In 2015 he stood unsuccessfully as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Somerton and Frome.

The leader of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron has paid tribute on Twitter describing him as a "committed and selfless individual."

Image copyright Twitter

Mr Rendel's focus on constituency work sometimes led to him being out of step with his party's opinions.

He was a strong supporter of the controversial Newbury bypass, a focus of environmental protest and also strongly campaigned on opposition to nuclear technology.

Mr Rendel had an atypical background for a Liberal Democrat, as an Old Etonian, who had rowed for Oxford in the university boat race.

He stood for the party leadership in 1999 but had little support among MPs and came last in the ballot.

In 2001 he became the party's education spokesman after having served on the public accounts committee.

Mr Rendel represented Newbury between 1993 and 2005, when he lost his seat to Conservative, Richard Benyon.

In 2010 he found himself alone amongst members of the Liberal Democrat Federal Executive in voting against plans to enter a coalition government with the Conservatives.

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