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Dr Ed Gouge

Colleagues will be sorry to hear of the unexpected death of Dr Ed Gouge, former Lecturer, and subsequently Senior Teaching Fellow, in POLIS.   The following tribute has been contributed by his former colleague, Professor Kevin Theakston.

Ed Gouge came as a Lecturer to the University of Leeds to teach Politics in 1993, working on British politics and European politics.   He took early retirement as a Senior Teaching Fellow in 2010, but continued to teach and work with students part-time for a couple of years after that, when he became a Visiting Fellow in Politics.

For many years he was a key figure on the flagship Politics and Parliamentary Studies (PPS) degree, a programme giving students the opportunity to take up placements in the offices of Members of Parliament at Westminster and with a special North American dimension, including student exchanges with US and Canadian universities and placements in the US Congress and the Canadian parliament.   Colleagues and former students remember an enthusiastic lecturer who cared deeply about his students, giving them huge support, encouragement and assistance through their course and placements.   He had an extremely positive impact on his Leeds students and on US and Canadian exchange students, who remember him with affection and respect.

Ed studied at Bristol and the London School of Economics.   He later researched and was awarded a University of Leeds PhD while a lecturer here.   He made a major contribution to a research project on the experience of former MPs which resulted in the publication of an influential report (in 2007), Life after Losing or Leaving, commissioned by the Association of Former Members of Parliament.

Before coming to Leeds he had previously worked as a town planner in two local authorities and then as a town planning lecturer.   Notably, he was not just a teacher and a researcher of politics but a committed activist and campaigner – a long-time member of the Labour Party and a local politician.   He had experience as a local councillor in Kent, on the Greater London Council (GLC) and, latterly, on the Isle of Wight, where he had moved with his family (wife Mary and son Elliott) for what was a very active ‘retirement’.   On the GLC, he had worked with the likes of Jeremy Corbyn, Ken Livingstone, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott, and had been Chair of the Planning Committee for Greater London.   Students appreciated his many insights about political life at the ‘coal face’.   Academic colleagues enjoyed tapping his detailed understanding of the local nuances, trends and voting patterns as the results came in during General Election nights (sometimes in 3 am phone conversations when Ed, at least, showed no signs of flagging!).

We remember Ed as a generous, hard-working, kind-hearted and supportive colleague and friend.   He had been very ill recently but his death, at age 70, on 2 January 2018 was sudden, and much too soon.

The funeral service will be held at 3.00pm on Friday 9 February 2018, at the Isle of Wight Crematorium, Whippingham, East Cowes, PO32 6NJ, on which day the flag on the Parkinson Building will be flown at half-mast in Ed's memory.