Braintree: Former MP Dies At 74

Former Commons leader Lord Newton of Braintree has died at the age of 74, his family has announced.

Tony Newton became Tory MP for Braintree in 1974, holding on to the seat for 23 years before being made a peer.

He began his Government career in the Whips' office and held a number of ministerial roles under Margaret Thatcher.

They included a stint as health minister, an area in which he retained a keen interest over his political career, contributing to debates in the Upper Chamber over the controversial Health and Social Care Bill in recent weeks.

In 1989 he was made social security secretary and three years later was appointed Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons.

He died on Sunday afternoon in Colchester Hospital following a long illness.

He is survived by wife Patricia, two daughters, Polly and Jessica, three stepchildren, Robin, Emma and Sukie, and 10 grandchildren.

In a statement, his family said: "In spite of his worsening health, he was determined to carry on contributing to public life right up until the last few days.

"He was a remarkable man and we will miss him very much."