Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Lib Dem peer Lord Livsey dies at 75

Liberal Democrat peer and former MP Lord Livsey of Talgarth, who has died aged 75
Liberal Democrat peer and former MP Lord Livsey of Talgarth, who has died aged 75

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg led tributes to the Liberal Democrat peer and former MP Lord Livsey of Talgarth, who has died aged 75.

The former leader of Welsh Liberal Democrats died peacefully at his home in Brecon late on Wednesday.

As Richard Livsey, he represented his home area of Brecon and Radnor for 11 years in the House of Commons, speaking for his party on agriculture, countryside issues and Wales. He was leader of the Lib Dems in Wales from 1988-92 and 1997-2001 and was made a life peer in 2002.

Lord Livsey was a keen advocate of devolution and one of the loudest voices for a "yes" vote in the referendum which paved the way for the creation of the Welsh Assembly.

Liberal Democrat leader Mr Clegg said: "Richard was a kind and thoughtful man who was respected by both constituents and colleagues of all parties. He was a highly regarded member of the House of Lords - a passionate Welshman who fought for his ideals all his life. He was a true Liberal and a compassionate voice for Wales."

The leader of Lib Dems in Wales, Kirsty Williams AM, said Lord Livsey would be remembered as a champion for rural communities in Wales.

"Richard Livsey was a man of immense honour and decency who was loved and respected by his constituents, colleagues and by politicians of all parties," said Ms Williams. "He will be remembered particularly as a champion for the rural communities in which he lived and an expert on agriculture, which he worked in all his professional life.

"As Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, he was a passionate advocate for Welsh devolution. His role in achieving a 'Yes' vote in the 1997 referendum establishing the National Assembly for Wales will be long remembered."

Brought up in Talgarth, Brecon, Lord Livsey joined the Liberals in 1960 and fought four general elections unsuccessfully before entering Parliament. He lost the redrawn Brecon & Radnorshire seat in 1992, but returned to the Commons as MP for the constituency from 1997-2001.

A farmer by trade, he was president of the Wales European Movement, trustee of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales and chairman of the Brecon Jazz Festival, as well as a member of the Talgarth Male Voice Choir. He was married to Irene and had two sons and one daughter.

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