Lionel Bell, centre, with Sir Richard Body on left and Sir Robin Williams on right, at a Congress for Democracy meeting in London.
I have just returned from a weekend in Wales to the sad news that the old Campaign for an Independent Britain (CIB) stalwart, Lionel Bell, has recently passed away.
Lionel was one of the CIB early members who served the organisation for many years. I first met him at a meeting in Burton-on-Trent in 1997 where he had been asked to give a talk about the anti-EU campaign and the single currency. Like many of us who give public talks, he was not in the same league as Nigel Farage or some other excellent orators, but he was a good nuts and bolts man and could always explain clearly the dangers of EU membership.
Before retirement he had worked in the Civil Service, I met him many times over the years at CIB meetings and he was always one of the attendees at every Congress for Democracy, which were high profile and informative events held in Church House in London. He would always have an input too.
He had heart problems some years ago, but after a heart bypass he looked and seemed better than before, sadly, his widow informed me that he developed problems with his lungs and in the end, after an operation, he decided on palliative care and sadly, passed away at the age of 77 years on the 15th October. Lord Stoddart of Swindon and other CIB members were present at the funeral and Lord Stoddard gave a tribute to his old campaigning colleague which was held on the 27th October. Lionel will be sadly missed.