We were all saddened to learn of Baroness Maddock's passing last night and our thoughts are with her husband Alan and the rest of her family. Diana was a formidable woman in politics, nationally as well as locally. A party member for almost 50 years, and a councillor in Southampton before she shot to fame after winning the 1993 Christchurch by-election on one of the most sizeable swings ever seen 35.4%. She narrowly lost the seat in the general election of 1997 and was afterwards made a life peer and became Baroness Maddock of Christchurch. Diane also served two years as Party President of the Liberal Democrats at the turn of the millennium.
"Many of us locally knew Diana, some were even involved in her historic by-election win almost 30 years ago, but for all of us it is a loss. She was a once in a lifetime campaigner, and proved the age old adage of "no seat too safe". As a councillor, an MP and a Lady of the realm Diana made a stark impact for women in politics, and inspired Annette Brooke to stand and win in Mid Dorset & North Poole. Her loss will not only be felt by those she leaves behind but by our party as a whole." Said Vikki