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EDITIONS
Lib Dem leadership Tuesday, 22 June, 1999, 09:03 GMT 10:03 UK
CV: Charles Kennedy
Born: 25 November 1959

Education: University of Glasgow; Indiana University

Personal: Single

Non-political career: Journalist and broadcaster

Political career: Standing for the SDP, Mr Kennedy was elected MP for Ross, Cromarty and Skye in the Scottish Highlands in 1983, defeating the sitting government minister Hamish Gray.

At the time he was the youngest member of the Commons

He is now MP for Ross, Skye and Inverness after the boundary changes prior to the last election.

He became the first SDP MP to back a merger with the Liberals after the 1987 general election.

In 1990 he was elected the UK party president and was re-elected for a second term in 1992.

He was a spokesman for the SDP on social security, Scotland, and trade and industry.

In recent years, he has been a Lib Dem spokesman on health, and the European Union.

He has been the party's agriculture spokesman since 1997 when he also became a member of the Select Committee on Standards and Privileges.

How others see him: He is constantly described as the Lib Dem's Prince Hal, a lightweight charmer and bon viveur.

"Charles was born wanting to be prime minister," said a friend. He has also been described as "cuddly" and as "the ginger tom who got the cream".

He is seen as popular, fair-minded, honest and less inclined to cuddle up to Labour than Paddy Ashdown.

Interests: David Bowie, broadcasting and is a skilled debater.

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