Tory veteran Sir Peter Tapsell dies aged 88
The former Father of the House was one of the few MPs to sit for more than 50 years
The veteran former Conservative MP Sir Peter Tapsell has died aged 88, the chairman of his former constituency party has said.
Craig Leyland, the chairman of the Louth and Horncastle Conservative Association, said that Sir Peter had served the constituency loyally and had never been afraid to speak his mind.
Sir Peter first entered Parliament in 1959 as MP for Nottingham West in 1959 and is one for the few MPs to have sat for more then 50 years.
He was Father of the House from 2010 until he finally stood down at the 2015 general election.
As Chairman of Louth and Horncastle Conservative Association I am very saddened to hear that Sir Peter Tapsell has died. He served this constituency loyally over many years. His knowledge of finance and the Middle East could not be rivalled. Our condolences to Lady Tapsell https://t.co/FO3nE485cL— Craig Leyland (Cllr) (@craigjleyland) August 18, 2018
The former party chairman Lord Pickles paid tribute, saying he had been a “formidable contributor” to the Commons chamber.
“I doubt we will see his like again,” he wrote on Twitter.
Sir Peter began his political career as a 25-year-old speech writer to prime minister Sir Anthony Eden.
Sorry to read this, very good and agreeable company. A formidable contributor to the Chamber of the Commons. I doubt we will see his like again https://t.co/zBQloaLzYA— Eric Pickles (@EricPickles) August 18, 2018
After losing his seat in the 1964 general election, he returned two years later as MP for Horncastle – an area he continued to represent for the rest of his time in Parliament.
Never afraid to go his own way, he had only a brief spell on the frontbenches as an opposition Treasury spokesman under Margaret Thatcher, a move he later described as the “single biggest mistake” of his political life.
An entrenched opponent of her monetarist policies, he later resigned and voted against Sir Geoffrey Howe’s 1981 budget – the first Tory MP to vote against a Conservative budget since the 1930s, plunging him into internal party exile.
In later years, he was a fierce critic of the European Union and an opponent of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, calling for the impeachment of Tony Blair for misleading Parliament over the invasion of Iraq.