Britain’s youngest councillor has been found dead aged just 21.
Clarissa Slade, Tory councillor for Mid Devon, was found dead at her student flat in Winchester on Monday.
Police are treating her death an ‘unexplained’ and a post mortem examination is yet to take place.
Clarissa became Britain’s youngest councillor when she was elected to represent Tiverton in 2015, aged 18 years, two months, one week and six days old.
Her parents, who are also both Conservative councillors, are said to be in "shock" at her sudden death.
Dad Colin Slade told the 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."
Stephen Walford, Mid Devon District Council’s chief executive, told Devon Live : "Sadly I was informed last night that a serving member of our council, Clarissa Slade, had passed away suddenly yesterday.
"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.
"I will be opening a book of condolence at Phoenix House."
Speaking after being elected in May 2015, Clarissa said: "I would like to think that electors were impressed that someone of my age was willing to stand for council and were prepared to give me a chance to prove myself.
"I’m not concerned – I’m excited and intrigued to get started."
A former Blundell’s School pupil, Clarissa was studying classical studies at the University of Winchester in Hampshire having displayed a passion for politics from a young age.
She was previously chair the Devon Conservative Future and undertook a work placement at the Westminster office of Tiverton and Honiton MP Neil Parish.
Her posts on social media include pictures with leading Tory MPs including Jacob Rees-Mogg and Sajid Javid.
Clive Eginton, leader of Mid Devon District Council said: "The devastating news regarding the sudden passing of Cllr 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 as a whole in a variety of events.
"On the national stage she had also made her mark with her involvement in youth politics.
"Clarissa had an endearing personality to all those who knew her well, and we will miss her enormously.
"Our thoughts at this time are with Clarissa’s parents Colin and Elizabeth."
At the Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee on Devon County Council on Tuesday, chairman of the committee Cllr Alistair Dewhirst said that Cllr Colin Slade would not be at the meeting as scheduled due to a family tragedy that happened yesterday.
He said that everyone sent their condolences to him and hoped we would see him in the council chamber again soon.
A University of Winchester spokesperson 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."
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