Death of Jo Grimond, twice leader of the Liberal Party

Jo Grimond, Baron Grimond was Liberal MP for Orkney and Shetland 1950-83, Leader of the Liberal Party 1956-67 and 1976. A man of considerable charm and intellect, Grimond’s period as leader saw the Liberal Party undergo a notable revival. Grimond reversed the seemingly inexorable Liberal decline and brought dynamism and ideas back to the Party. His writings, in particular, The Liberal Future and The Liberal Challenge and his formation of the Unservile State Group gave political liberalism a new direction and placed it on the left of British politics. Grimond resigned the leadership after 11 years during which time the Liberal Party’s vote had risen from 722,000 to over 2.3 million and the number of MPs had more than doubled. Grimond returned briefly to the leadership in the wake of the resignation of Jeremy Thorpe when he steadied the Party’s nerves and oversaw the first leadership election that involved a vote of the whole party.