Moving tribute from Sir Menzies Campbell after death of his wife, Elspeth

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Elspeth Campbell, wife of former Lib Dem leader Menzies Campbell, has died at the age of 83.

It was announced that Lady Campbell of Pittenweem had passed away after just returning from a period of recuperation in hospital.

They were married for 50 years, and Baron Campbell, the doyen of the Lib Dems, described her in a moving tribute as “my constant political companion, always my encouragement and forever my first line of defence.”

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Born in New Delhi in January 1940, Lady Campbell and Sir Menzies married in 1970. Her dinner parties in their Edinburgh home were said to be grand affairs.

The wedding of Menzies Campbell  athlete and Lady Elspeth Mary Grant-Suttie at Buchanan Parish Church  near Drymen.

The wedding of Menzies Campbell  athlete and Lady Elspeth Mary Grant-Suttie at Buchanan Parish Church  near Drymen.
The wedding of Menzies Campbell athlete and Lady Elspeth Mary Grant-Suttie at Buchanan Parish Church near Drymen.

Lady Campbell held a first class honours degree from the Open University, and served as Sir Menzies’ parliamentary assistant for many years when he represented North East Fife. She was widely reported to have encouraged her husband to become an MP, to stand for Commons Speaker and join the race for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats.

Paying tribute, Sir Menzies said: “After more than 50 years of marriage, my bright, beautiful and witty Elspeth has gone. She was my constant political companion, always my encouragement and forever my first line of defence. When I had doubts about the leadership of the Liberal Democrats her advice was clear, she said “never say never”.

He added: “She was renowned for her hosting of political Sunday lunches, which always lingered long into the evenings.Her passion for politics, her support of me and her love of her family will be very much missed.”

A private funeral service will be followed by a memorial service later.