Lib Dem leader Tim Farron praises 'true Liberal' Lord Avebury who died at 87


Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has paid tribute to "true Liberal" former MP Lord Avebury, who has died aged 87.

Eric Avebury, known for campaigning for democratic and human rights, represented Orpington for eight years after winning a Commons by-election for the Liberals in 1962.

He inherited the title of Baron Avebury in 1971, and was elected to remain in the Upper House when most other hereditary peers were ejected in 1999.

The father-of-five, a Buddhist and supporter of the National Secular Society, had been suffering from leukaemia and died at home in London.

Mr Farron said: "He was a true Liberal who will be remembered as much for his unyielding commitment to fighting for Liberal causes as his sensational by-election victory in Orpington in 1962.

"He campaigned to lower the voting age, founded the Parliamentary Human Rights Group and fought for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, taking up the cases of hundreds of individuals fleeing persecution.

"He was a committed internationalist, regularly promoting human rights around the world. He was a strong supporter of citizenship rights for British minorities in Hong Kong and campaigned against the persecution of religious minorities across many countries.

"It was a personal honour for me to speak at the 50th anniversary of his by-election victory at the National Liberal Club.

"The Liberal Democrats have lost a great campaigner, a great friend and a true champion of the Liberal cause."