I can’t claim to have been especially close to Neil Trafford, but learning of his death quite upset me this evening.
Neil and I were roughly the same age and the same generation politically. Our paths criss-crossed – he was involved in LDYS when I was more heavily involved in Manchester politics and he became involved in Manchester when I was more heavily involved in LDYS. I first got to know him in a meaningful way when I came up to help in the Manchester local elections in 2000.
Neil always impressed me as a passionate and professional campaigner. More than that, although this is perhaps related, he always seemed pretty grounded and you got the impression he had a life outside of politics. He was friendly and upbeat and exactly the sort of person you would want on your team.
The party has lost a star, but I’m also aware that a lot of people have also lost a close friend. My thoughts are with them.