Kennedy, Charles

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Kennedy, Charles (b. 1959). Liberal Democrat leader. Kennedy was the youngest member of the House of Commons when he was returned in 1983 as a Social Democrat for Ross, Cromarty, and Skye. He was educated at Lochaber High School, Fort William, and at Glasgow University, where he was president of the Union. Plump and cheerful, he was thought by some to lack gravitas when he succeeded ‘Paddy’ Ashdown as leader in 1999, but his election campaign in 2005 was vigorous and his party increased their seats by eleven to 62. Nevertheless, he was obliged to resign the party leadership in 2006, after he confessed to an alcohol problem, and was succeeded by Sir Menzies Campbell.

J. A. Cannon