Former Tory chairman Brian Mawhinney dies aged 79
Former Conservative Cabinet minister Brian Mawhinney has died at the age of 79 after a long illness, his family have announced.
The Belfast-born peer, who stepped down from the House of Lords in 2005, served as an MP from 1979 to 1997.
He took on a number of roles in John Major’s Tory government, serving as health minister and Transport Secretary. He chaired the Conservatives from 1995 until their election defeat in 1997.
In a statement his family said: “His death brings an end to a life dedicated to public service and rooted in an unwavering Christian faith.
"He was a much loved husband, father and grandfather and a friend to many. He will be much missed."
Lord Mawhinney was knighted in 1997 and became a life peer in 2005.
After stepping down from frontline politics, he took on the role of English Football League chairman for seven years. In a statement, the EFL said it was “devastated to learn of the passing” of its former boss.
The organisation said: “Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this incredibly sad time.”
Stewart Jackson, who succeed Lord Mawhinney as MP for Peterborough, meanwhile said he was “very sorry” to hear the news of the peer’s passing.
He said: “A dedicated man of faith, a diligent public servant, dynamic advocate for the city and a generous mentor and supporter. Sincerest condolences Betty and family.”