Former Leeds University student dies in Thailand

Christina Annesley was a former Leeds University student.
Christina Annesley was a former Leeds University student.
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Tributes have been paid to a former University of Leeds student who has died while travelling in Thailand.

Christina Annesley, 23, died yesterday (Wednesday) just two weeks into a four-month backpacking trip around South East Asia and Australia.

On Monday, the history graduate was tweeting from Koh Tao - the same island where another University of Leeds graduate David Miller was murdered along with Hannah Witheredge, a 23-year-old from Great Yarmouth, in September.

The circumstances of Christina’s death are not yet known but a close friend has told the YEP it was believed to be from natural causes.

A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We can confirm the death of a British national in Thailand on 21 January 2014.

“We are providing consular assistance to the family at this difficult time.”

During her time at Leeds University, Christina was a busy political activist and a founding member of the Leeds Liberty League in 2011.

Prior to setting up the League, she was active in the Conservative Party and was elected branch chairman of the youth wing of the Conservative party from 2011-2012.

In 2011, she stood in the local elections for Headingley.

Chris Rowell, chairman of Yorkshire and Humber Conservative Future told the YEP: “I was deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of Christina, it’s tragic to lose someone at such a young age.

“While Christina did not stay with the Conservative Party, she was always a strong defender of liberty. It is clear from all of the tributes paid to her from across the political spectrum, that she will be deeply missed.”

Daniel Pryor, north east and west regional director of UK Liberty League, said: “Christina was a big positive influence on many peoples’ lives, including my own.

“Following her on Twitter helped get me into market anarchism, and realise that you could be seriously interested in politics without being a bore. Meeting her for the first time, she was so ridiculously warm and welcoming that I felt like I was on to a good thing with the general UK libertarian movement. The more I got to know her, the more I saw her as a genuine role model and a true friend. It’s an awful time for so many people, especially those closest to her, and I know I’m not the only one who’s raised a glass to her memory. Gone but not forgotten.”

According to Christina’s LinkedIn page, she had hoped to get into journalism and said she had “specific interest in current affairs, political ideology and social justice”.

She said she was applying for a Masters in English Literature to start from September 2015 and was travelling around South East Asia and Australia between January and April 2015.

Tributes were today flooding social media to the popular 23-year-old, who was originally from Orpington in Kent.

Coun Alice Smart (Lab, Armley) tweeted: “Shocked and saddened by the news that @chrstinadarling has passed away. She was one of a kind. My thoughts are with all her friends and family.”

@JamieMatthews84 wrote: “So sad and shocked to hear news about @chrstinadarling who stood in Headingley in 2011. A nice person and good candidate.”

@wallaceme wrote: “Awful to hear that young libertarian @chrstinadarling has died in Thailand. A brilliant girl, and a great campaigner.”