Anti-Brexit campaign grieves after 'crusading' colleague dies in Sydney plane crash

Posted On: 
1st January 2018

Anti-Brexit campaign Open Britain was left devastated last night after it emerged its head of press died with his family in a tragic Sydney plane crash.

The Open Britain campaign said it had “lost part of our soul today”
Credit: 
PA Images

Will Cousins, 25, had been enjoying a family trip to Australia when the sightseeing sea plane plunged into the Hawkesbury River some 30 miles north of the city.

He died along with his father Richard, the boss of catering giant Compass who was due to retire this year after more than a decade at the helm of the firm.

His 23-year-old brother Edward was also killed, along with his father’s fiancee Emma Bowden, her 11-year-old daughter Heather and Candian-born pilot Gareth Morgan.

The Open Britain campaign - the successor to the official Stronger In drive during the EU referendum - said it had “lost part of our soul today”.

Chairman Roland Rudd 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.”

He added: “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.”

Executive director of the campaign James McGrory said: “We have not just lost a special colleague but a wonderful friend.

“Will’s razor-sharp wit, easy company and generosity will be missed even more than his huge brain, peerless prose and fearless ideas.”

Investigators do not yet know why the single-engine Sydney Seaplanes aircraft crashed. Police said it would be several days before the wreckage would be recovered.