With Helen’s death, one of the great freedom fighters of our time has passed on.
Born in Moscow, she was the daughter of a father who bravely opposed Soviet Communism; Helen understood it from an early age, and fought it long before the Wall came down.
She came to the UK at the age of fourteen and with a First in History and Russian from the University of Leeds and a doctorate from the University of Oxford, her knowledge of Soviet history and what it did to the Warsaw Pact countries was encyclopaedic.
So she also saw through the project of European integration from its inception, and was a founder member of the Anti-Federalist League, UKIP and several other resistance groups, also serving as Head of Research for the Bruges Group.
Slightly more surprisingly to many, she was also omnivorous in her love of the arts and could often be seen in the evening at private views for a wide range of styles.
Helen had a first class and incisive mind, and could be impatient with the less gifted, especially when she thought that even they should have been able to grasp the point she was making. But she was never unkind, and her generous sense of humour always carried the day.
We have lost a brave and good woman, and my thoughts are with her daughter, Katharine.