Heard in Europe

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon paid a heartfelt tribute to former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy, whose death at the age of 55 was announced this morning (2 June).

Sturgeon, who campaigned against Kennedy during the Scottish independence referendum last year, was speaking at an event in Brussels.

She told a mix of politicians, press and EU officials that she and Kennedy had ducked out of a political study visit to Melbourne, Australia in the 1990s.

Why? Well they had to catch a screening of cult classic Trainspotting, a grimy Brit-flick about heroin addicts, set in Thatcher-era Edinburgh.

“I think we were the only two Scots in the audience at that time, so we drew some very strange looks from other people as we were uproariously laughing at lots of jokes that nobody else in the cinema were even beginning to understand,” she said.

“That’s a small, but very special memory that I certainly will always treasure,” the SNP leader added.

Sturgeon praised her friend as proud and passionate advocate of Europe and the UK’s membership of the European Union. See him speaking about the importance of the EU and Brexit in 2013 below.

To applause, she added, “His would have been an incredibly powerful voice in the upcoming EU referendum, so for that reason but also for many, many other reasons I think our country today is much poorer for the passing of Charles Kennedy.”

>>Read: Brexit will lead to clamour for Scottish independence, says Sturgeon

British Prime Minister David Cameron also paid tribute to Kennedy today.

Photo courtesy of Liberal Democrats/Flickr. Published under Creative Commons licence.

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