Charles Kennedy was elected as a Social Democrat in 1983, and since the merger with the liberals, has been the Liberal Democrat MP for Ross, Cromarty and Skye. He was President of the Party from 1990 to 1994. The son of a crofter, Charles graduated with honours in Philosophy and Politics from Glasgow and worked as a BBC journalist before entering politics.
He has been Liberal Democrat Spokesman on trade and industry, health and Europe; a Member of the Commons Select Committee on social services and on the televising of the House of Commons and led the party from 1999-2005.
He is a versatile and engaging speaker. His Highland accent and amusing turn of phrase have made him a popular choice for radio. A regular contributor on LBC, Radio 4 broadcast his eight part "In Conversation" series in which he talked to leading personalities, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Kate Adie. As well as writing and presenting his popular "Kennedy on Common Ground" series, he has also presented "Soapbox" and co-written a three-part Radio 4 series on the role of the rector in Scottish university life.
Frequently featured on TV news, he is no stranger to the camera, and has presented three programmes with a Scottish theme for GMTV's "The Sunday Programme" as well as frequently appearing on "Question Time", "Any Questions" and so many light entertainment shows such as “Have I got News for You” that he earnt the nickname Chatshow Charlie. He is also a respected journalist - he has been a columnist on The Scotsman and the News of the World and he has written for The Sunday Times magazine.