Carmichael pays touching tribute to late friend Baroness Williams

Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael has paid a fond tribute to Baroness Shirley Williams, who passed away on Monday.

The Orkney and Shetland MP took the opportunity during Business Questions to eulogise a woman the Liberal Democrat Party Leader Ed Davey had called a “Liberal lion and true trailblazer”.

Addressing the House of Commons, Alistair Carmichael said: “Thank you Mr Deputy Speaker. Can I say to the Leader of the House I hope members from all parties may be allowed to pay some tribute to my late colleague and friend Baroness Williams of Crosby.

“She was somebody who blazed a trail for women in politics for over five decades of public life in this country. She was blessed with a magic combination of both a fine political mind and a genuine political warmth, which allowed her to reach out to people across the party divide and to people with no parties.

“I realised this for myself in 1983 when I heard her address an outdoor rally at the by-election then in Darlington. There was a man behind me saying “hear hear”, a lot of agreement. I turned around to see who this new convert to Liberalism was, and it was in fact none other than Screaming Lord Sutch.

“I told Shirley that story some two decades later, and I think it says a lot about her that she instinctively just loved the joke at her own expense.

“She will be enormously missed by people in all parties, but especially amongst the family of Liberal Democrats.”

Leader of the House, Jacob Rees-Mogg, would in reply share that Baroness Williams helped his father get his first job – testament to her warm heart and giving nature.

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