David Digby Rendel (15 April 1949 – 16 May 2016) was a British politician for the Liberal Democrats. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Newbury from 1993 to 2005. He won the seat in a by-election in May 1993 caused by the death of Judith Chaplin, and he held it until his defeat at the 2005 general election to Conservative candidate Richard Benyon. At the time he lost his seat he was the Liberal Democrats' spokesman on Higher and Further Education. In September 2014, Rendel was selected as Liberal Democrat candidate in the 2015 general election for the seat of Somerton and Frome in Somerset; however, he lost to the Conservative candidate, David Warburton.
Educated at Eton College, Magdalen College, Oxford, and St Cross College, Oxford, Rendel was a member of the winning University of Oxford boat race crew of 1974. After a gap year volunteering in Africa, he worked in the finance department of Shell Oil Company.
His father was a foreign correspondent for The Times, and he was a great-grandson of civil engineer Sir Alexander Meadows Rendel, and a great-great-nephew of Liberal MP Stuart Rendel.
Rendel fought and lost two elections in 1979 and 1983 at Fulham, before moving to Newbury in 1986, when his wife started work as a GP. He became a Newbury District Councillor from 1987 to 1995, and fought and lost the Newbury seat in the 1992 general election, gaining 37% of the vote.
Against a backdrop of the unpopular poll tax and recession, he won the by-election in 1993 with a massive majority of 22,055, receiving 65% of the vote. He first came to national attention for supporting the Newbury bypass, and stood in the 1999 election for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats, but came fifth of five candidates, losing to Charles Kennedy.
He held on to his seat in 1997 and 2001 with reduced majorities, but at the 2005 election he was defeated by the Conservative candidate Richard Benyon.
Rendel was a directly elected member of the Liberal Democrats Federal Executive committee until 2014.
In May 2006, Rendel was re-selected by local party members as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Newbury seat for the 2010 election. At the general election in May 2010 he was defeated by the sitting Conservative MP, Richard Benyon, whose majority grew to 21%.
After the election, Rendel was the only member on the Liberal Democrats Federal Executive to vote against the recommendation that the party form a coalition government with the Conservative Party.
Rendel died on 16 May 2016 in Berkshire, England from cancer, aged 67.