In March the exceptionally popular David Walter lost his battle with cancer, and a memorial service is being held for him this week:
Wednesday June 27th at 2pm at St Brides Church, Fleet Street EC4Y 8AU
As Chris Rennard said when David died:
David was widely respected as a decent, principled and trustworthy person. He was always positive and encouraging to work with as well as being professional and completely loyal to the party that he always supported. He had to be discreet about his party allegiance whilst working for the BBC and ITN and he was greatly respected by both those organisations and friends throughout the media and different parties.
I first got to know him when he did the commentary for a BBC ‘On the Record’ Sunday lunchtime documentary on the 1993 Newbury by-election. As the Campaign Manager for David Rendel when we overturned a 12,000 Conservative majority to win by 22,000, David’s documentary made me the ‘Lib Dem by-election guru’ and was the beginning of a friendship and professional relationship.
I was delighted, therefore, when after the 1997 General Election breakthrough he was put in charge of the party’s media operation and worked with me on the party’s political and election broadcasts. Some of them attracted criticism from the media that they were so professional that people didn’t realise they were watching election broadcasts.
David helped to train and advise many of the party’s MPs and candidates in media skills and narrowly failed to retain the West Devon constituency in 2005 when John Burnett stood down.
He was an excellent debater and would have been a brilliant parliamentarian but he served the cause of Liberal Democracy in other ways.
The Walter family has set up a tribute fund to David. If you go to http://leukaemialymphomaresearch.org.uk/give/give-memory/donating-tribute-fund and use the online donation link it will take you to a secure page where you can donate. Near the bottom of the page there is a section called ‘donation details’. Where it asks you if there is a special reason for your donation, select ‘tribute fund’ and then in the ‘details’ box enter ‘David Walter’.