'An extraordinary young man': Tributes paid to Open Britain head of press William Cousins who died in seaplane crash

Senior figures from politics, the PR industry and elsewhere have paid tribute to William Cousins, head of press for campaign group Open Britain, who died in a seaplane crash in Australia with his family on New Year's Eve.

William Cousins: 'A tremendous talent, a really great guy and a team player' (image via Twitter)
William Cousins: 'A tremendous talent, a really great guy and a team player' (image via Twitter)

The 25 year-old died alongside his father, Richard Cousins, who was chief executive of catering company Compass Group, and his brother, Edward.

Cousins’ fiancé Emma Bowden, her daughter Heather, and the plane’s pilot Gareth Morgan also died in the crash at Hawkesbury River, about 30 miles from Sydney.

William Cousins worked for Open Britain, the group that campaigns against a so-called ‘hard Brexit’. In a statement, the organisation said it "has lost part of its soul today".

Roland Rudd, chairman of PR agency Finsbury who also chairs Open Britain, said: "All of us at Open Britain are devastated by the tragic loss of Will and his family.

"Will was an extraordinary young man who was passionate about what he did; who took deep pride in his work; and came into the office every day with enthusiasm, energy and determination.

"Will saw his role at Open Britain as more than a job. For him, it was a cause akin to a crusade to stop Britain crashing out of the EU with no deal or a bad deal.

"Will was a great team player who loved the camaraderie of our young team and developed close relationships with all his colleagues. He will be missed beyond words."

Open Britain board member Lord Mandelson said: "Will was a tremendous talent and a really great guy and team player. He was indefatigable in his work for Open Britain and we will miss him and honour him by continuing his work in the campaign."

Tributes have also been paid on social media:

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