Steve Hitchins passes away

Steve Hitchins and Sarah Ludford - image from Sarah Ludford on Twitter

The sudden death last night of former Islington Council leader Steve Hitchins has brought grief to his many friends, colleagues and family.

A councillor for 16 years, the chair of a health trust for five and a lifelong friend and colleagues to so many, Steve Hitchins had a vigorous determination in his approach to politics that did huge amounts to improve public services in the borough as well as to help win many elections. Not afraid to take controversial decisions, he was often in the news, frequently successful and always up for the next debate.

My sadly last exchange of emails with him saw him full of ideas on what could and must be done next to win more elections.

Steve was married to Lib Dem peer, and former MEP and councillor, Sarah Ludford for over forty years. Their use of their own surnames produced one memorably bizarre moment at a Liberal Democrat conference when a Lib Dem MP, happily making small talk to one as the other passed by, thought he would be helpful by introducing them to each other.

There’s much that Steve achieved in his time in the Liberal Democrats, particularly as a pioneer in wanting to ensure the party took improving its diversity seriously. He didn’t only talk about it, he acted – and a string of talented, diverse people who he encouraged into politics is part of his legacy.

Thank you, Steve, and much love, Sarah.


6 responses to “Steve Hitchins passes away”

  1. Steve’s contribution to the party in London is second to nobody’s. Steve had a great vision and took the London party from having only one councillor in inner London to controlling several councils and there being very few, if any, councils where there was no Liberal councillor. He was also a very nice guy with some extraordinary interests – he knew an amazing amount about folk music and I never quite worked out his connexions with the Honourable Artillery Company for whom he had played soccer. There are few people you could absolutely trust and Steve was one.

  2. Steve’s death is a great loss to the Party
    His good work in Islington and for the Party nationally will always be remembered
    By their works ye shall know them

  3. Belatedly catching up with this. Thanks so much Mark and to all who’ve made kind comments. Yes Sean, there are John Renbourn vinyl albums in the house; I think this was from before I met him, when he was still at school, and used to go to folkclubs in London. I’m not sure either how he got recruited into playing for the HAC, I just remember loyally going to watch some matches in the wind and rain!
    There will be a celebration of his life at a venue in Islington, date not yet fixed, to which all will be welcome; I’ll get the details distributed.
    Best wishes and again, thankyou all. Sarah
    PS yes I am backing you for President Mark!

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