Eurosceptic and former Tory MP Sir Teddy Taylor dies at 80

21 September 2017, 12:54

The former Conservative MP Sir Teddy Taylor, one of the most outspoken and relentless critics of European integration, has died at 80.

Sir Teddy, who had been ill for some months, died in Southend Hospital late on Wednesday, his wife Sheila Taylor said.

A right-winger who supported the death penalty and Enoch Powell's campaign to stop immigration, Sir Teddy was best known for his antipathy towards the European Union and its predecessors.

He believed Brussels bureaucrats were bent on eating away at Britain's sovereignty and imposing the will of continental Europeans on the country.

He also regularly denounced what he claimed was misuse of taxpayers' money by unaccountable EU officials.

Throughout his career, Sir Teddy was one of the few who openly called for Britain to withdraw from the EU.

In 1971, he quit as Scottish Office minister over Edward Heath's decision to bring Britain into Europe and join what was then the European Economic Community.

Two decades later he was among a group of Tory rebels - 'the whipless wonders' - who had the whip withdrawn and were kicked out of the party by John Major over their opposition to the Maastricht Treaty.

Edward Macmillan Taylor was born on 18 April 1937.

He was educated at Glasgow High School and Glasgow University, and started his career as a journalist in the city.

He entered Parliament as Tory MP for Glasgow Cathcart in 1964, a position he held until 1979.

The following year he was elected MP for Southend East in a by-election and held the seat until he retired from Parliament in 2005.

His wife said that while he never changed his views on Europe, he had remained devoted to his constituency and its people.

"He loved being an MP here. The great love of his life was helping his constituents," she said.

"He really cared about Southend and was very well-liked by everybody here."

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