A 21-year-old woman who was Britain’s youngest councillor when she was elected has died suddenly.
Clarissa Slade was found dead at her flat in Winchester, where she was in the third year of her degree. She was elected to Mid Devon District Council aged just 18 in 2015.
She was elected alongside her parents, Colin and Elizabeth Slade, who are also councillors.
Police told HuffPost Slade’s death is “currently being treated as unexplained”.
Her father told The Daily Telegraph: “We are still pretty much in the dark as to the circumstances and we are waiting for the coroner.
“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. She was very active in the Conservative Party.”
Slade was active on social media and often photographed alongside prominent figures in the Conservative Party.
Local MP Kevin Foster tweeted that he was “deeply saddened” to hear of Slade’s death.
North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones knew Slade through her father, who worked as his campaigner manager. He said Slade had “a bright future” and was “hardworking and always so upbeat”.
Council leader Clive Eginton said: “The devastating news regarding the sudden passing of Councillor Clarissa Slade has been deeply felt by myself, fellow councillors and officers across Mid Devon District Council.
“As our youngest ever elected councillor, Clarissa worked hard for her residents in Cranmore ward and also participated across the town in a whole in a variety of events.”
Slade’s election in May 2015 at 18 years and two months made her the youngest councillor. Her mother was elected for the first time in the same year and her father was re-elected that year.
Their electoral success “came as a shock to us all,” she said.
Stephen Walford, the council’s chief executive, said: “This is clearly a great shock to everyone at the council and will affect all those who worked with Clarissa and the community she served.
“Clarissa’s parents, who are both serving councillors here at Mid Devon, will be devastated by this news and we will be supporting them in any way we can.”
A University of Winchester spokeswoman said: “Clarissa was a student here at the University. We are deeply saddened by her death and our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this difficult time.”