Clarissa Slade, a Winchester University student, was discovered to be dead by her housemate at her student accommodation.
Miss Slade made history when she was elected as a Conservative councillor for Mid Devon District Council just two months after her 18th birthday. The politician, who also served on Tiverton Town Council, is the daughter of Colin Slade, who is also a councillor.
The grieving 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.”
Miss Slade, who studied classics at university, previously served as the chair of Devon Conservative Future when she was 16. She was born with a heart defect but it was believed she would live a normal life. Miss Slade experienced pain in recent weeks but it is understood doctors found no cause for alarm, Metro news reports.
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 in 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.”
Her death is being treated as unexplained by police, with a post-mortem examination due to take place.