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PM offers tribute following death of ‘delightful’ ex-MP Peter Ainsworth

Former shadow cabinet minister Mr Ainsworth was ‘taken far too young’, Boris Johnson said.


Peter Ainsworth in 2006 (PA)

Peter Ainsworth in 2006 (PA)

Peter Ainsworth in 2006 (PA)

Boris Johnson has paid tribute to former Conservative MP Peter Ainsworth, who has died aged 64.

Mr Ainsworth was MP for East Surrey from 1992 to 2010 and held a series of frontbench roles, including as shadow culture secretary and shadow environment secretary.

The Prime Minister said Mr Ainsworth was a “delightful colleague” and “passionate about his causes, especially the environment”.

The pair had offices on the same corridor and “often found ourselves charging late for the division”, as votes in the Commons are known.

“He has been taken far too young,” Mr Johnson said, offering his thoughts to Mr Ainsworth’s widow Claire and their family.

Former prime minister David Cameron said: “Peter Ainsworth was a key driver of our modernising agenda in opposition, particularly our environmental policy.

“It was an honour to have him in my shadow cabinet. He was also such a kind, generous & thoroughly decent man & will be greatly missed.

“My thoughts are with his family.”

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said: “I am so sad to hear the news that Peter Ainsworth has died.

“He was without doubt a genuinely lovely guy, who was well-liked across the House.

“Like so many people we enjoy being around, he was taken too soon.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”

Mr Ainsworth was chairman of trustees at the Churches Conservation Trust and the Heritage Alliance.

The organisations said he died suddenly and will be greatly missed.

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