The father of Britain’s youngest councillor has said the family are “still in the dark” over her shock death at the age of 21.
Clarissa Slade, who was just 18 when she was elected as a Conservative councillor at Mid Devon District Council in 2015, was found dead by her university housemate on Monday.
She was a Classical Studies student at the University of Winchester, but was still a member of the council as she “remained committed” to serving the people of her ward.
Her father Colin Slade, who is also a councillor in the area, said the family had been expecting her back for a visit when they found out she had died.
“It is such a shock,” he told the Daily Telegraph.
“She was due to come back to visit and the first thing we knew was when she was not on the train.
“She had a bright future ahead, she was very keen on politics and she was a very bright young councillor, the youngest in the country when she was elected. She was looking to possibly pursue a career in politics.”
The cause of her death has not yet been established, with police treating it as unexplained.
Dozens of fellow councillors and MPs have paid tribute to Ms Slade, with her council leader Cllr Clive Edinton describing her as an “endearing personality” who will be missed “enormously”.
Kevin Foster, Conservative MP for Torbay, tweeted he was “shocked and deeply saddened” by her death, while North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones said she was “so upbeat” and had a “bright future”.
Ms Slade was active on social media, posting pictures with leading Conservative figures including Prime Minister Theresa May, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, and Jacob Rees-Mogg.