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Saturday, 19 May, 2001, 10:44 GMT
Sir Ludovic quits Lib Dems
Sir Ludovic Kennedy
The veteran broadcaster leaves the party after 45 years
Sir Ludovic Kennedy has resigned from the Liberal Democrats in a row over voluntary euthanasia.

The writer and broadcaster quit the party after 45 years because his views on the subject conflict with party leader Charles Kennedy.


The incompatibility of my own views and those of Charles Kennedy on the subject is so great there is no alternative

Sir Ludovic Kennedy
Charles Kennedy has refused to promote voluntary euthanasia.

But Sir Ludovic is president of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society.

"The incompatibility of my own views and those of Charles Kennedy on the subject is so great there is no alternative," he told the Times newspaper.

'Great wrench'

Sir Ludovic, who has fought two elections as a Liberal candidate, said it would be a "great wrench" to quit the party.

"Charles regards the issue as one of personal conscience, while to me it is the great social-medial issue of our times and one that needs parliamentary reform," he told the newspaper.

The 81-year-old said he personally liked and admired the Liberal Democrat leader who, as a Roman Catholic, believes that life must be preserved at all costs.

But he said his society believed that "quality of life matters more than its length".

A Liberal Democrat party spokesman said that it was "a matter of regret" that Sir Ludovic had decided to resign.

He said that the issue was a matter of conscience, and therefore there was no party policy on the matter.

He added that they had "great respect" for Sir Ludovic, who had "championed many liberal causes" during his time with the party.

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