Page last updated at 14:41 GMT, Monday, 5 May 2008 15:41 UK

Veteran Lib Dem Lord Holme dies

Lord Richard Holme
Lord Holme advised Liberal and Lib Dem leaders for almost 30 years

Senior Liberal Democrat Lord Holme has died at the age of 71 after a long illness, it has been announced.

The peer was the party's Northern Ireland spokesman in the 1990s and a close advisor to Sir Menzies Campbell, Paddy Ashdown and David Steel.

A family spokesman said: "Lord Holme of Cheltenham died yesterday at his home in Lurgashall, West Sussex, after a long battle with cancer."

He leaves his wife, Lady Holme, two sons, two daughters and grandchildren.

His family said the funeral will be held in the village church and a memorial service will take place in London at a later date.

'Liberal to the core'

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said Lord Holme had made a "huge contribution" to the party over many decades would be "greatly missed".

"His wisdom, kindness and advice were a great source of support for every party leader during that time," he said.

He was widely respected and shaped the course of British politics as no other non-elected Liberal has achieved
Lord Ashdown, former Lib Dem leader

Lord Richard Holme was chairman of the 1997 Lib Dem election campaign, was made a privy councillor in 2000 and served as chairman of the Lords Constitution Committee.

He also became chairman of TV watchdog, the Broadcasting Standards Commission in 1999, but resigned after little more than a year over newspaper revelations about his private life.

Former party leaders have also been paying tribute to Lord Holme's contribution.

Lord Ashdown described him as "a man of outstanding talent, who was liberal to the core".

"He was widely respected and shaped the course of British politics as no other non-elected Liberal has achieved."

Sir Menzies described him as "one of the most perceptive analysts of politics in this country".

He said Lord Holme had advised Liberal and Liberal Democrat leaders for the best part of 30 years and his advice was "almost always right".




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