Former Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe has died at age 85, decades after the British politician was acquitted of conspiracy to murder charges.

His son announced Thorpe's death Thursday. The former leader was praised by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and other party stalwarts for helping revive the party now known as the Liberal Democrats.

Clegg said Thorpe's "leadership and resolve" played a vital role in the party's fortunes.

Thorpe had been out of the public eye since he was cleared of the serious charges in his 1979 trial. He had suffered from Parkinson's Disease for more than 30 years.

He enjoyed a successful political career that was cut short by scandal after he was accused of conspiracy to murder charges in the death of former male model Norman Scott.