TRIBUTES have been pouring in following the death of David Rendel.
The former Liberal Democrat MP for Newbury died yesterday (Monday) aged 67.
His 22,000 vote majority in the 1993 by-election sent shockwaves across the country and was seen as a tipping point against John Major's Conservative government.
Paddy Ashdown, who was Liberal Democrat leader when Mr Rendel was elected, said: "David Rendel will be enormously missed by his friends and family. His by-election triumph in Newbury was exceptional and an important step in driving the Liberal Democrats forward.
"It takes a strength of character to stand for public office, and his continued work campaigning for the Liberals and Liberal Democrats over so many years reflected not only his character but also his strong commitment and belief in the causes he fought for."
The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, said: "I am hugely saddened by the loss of David Rendel. He was a committed, selfless individual who I will remember particularly for his unyielding campaigning over so many years. I will miss him.
"He won a stunning by-election victory in Newbury where he and his team showed the Liberal Democrats had the fight and passion to deliver a fantastic result in a challenging political climate. It was inspirational then, and is inspirational today as Liberal Democrats fight to rebuild.
"His continuing work with the party, standing again as a candidate in the 2010 and 2015 elections, and serving on the party’s Federal Executive typified the resilience, commitment and resolve with which he approached politics.
"He was a friend and colleague who I know will be sorely missed by his friends, family and the party."
Party president Sal Brinton Tweeted: "So sad that David Rendel has died. Passionate liberal to his core, man of principle, & a great local MP 4 Newbury 1993-2005. Sorely missed."
Mr Rendel's arch-rival Newbury MP Richard Benyon, who unseated him in the 2005 general election on the third attempt, said: “I have known David Rendel for over 25 years.
"While we were long-time political opponents I always had respect for him as an individual and for what he achieved as Member of Parliament for Newbury. I send my deepest condolences to Sue and the family."
Mr Rendel served as a district councilor for 16 years representing the wards of St Johns, Craven, Thatcham North and Thatcham Central.
The leader of West Berkshire Council, Roger Croft, said: “On behalf of everyone at the Council our condolences go to David’s family and friends.
“David was a true public servant who spent a great deal of his life representing local people in parliament and on the district council.
"David was a well-liked and respected man and someone who made his mark on the Council. He chose not to stand for election as a councillor last year but people within the council remembered him fondly and many still kept in touch with him.”
A minute's silence will be held at the full council meeting on Thursday.
If you would like to leave a tribute or a memory of how Mr Rendel helped you please use the comment facility below this article.