Boris Johnson leads tributes to ‘much loved’ MP and longstanding critic of HS2 rail project.
LONDON — Dame Cheryl Gillan, the longest-serving female Conservative MP and a former secretary of state for Wales, has died at the age of 68 after a long illness.
Gillan was first elected to her Buckinghamshire seat of Chesham and Amersham in 1992 and held high-profile positions in opposition and government before becoming known as an outspoken critic of the High Speed 2 railway project (HS2).
Amanda Milling, Conservative co-chairman, said: “It is with great sadness that I have to announce The Rt Hon Dame Cheryl Gillan DBE MP passed away at the weekend. Cheryl had been ill for some time, but battled her illness with great stoicism and grace.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson led tributes on Twitter, describing Gillan as “a great servant to the people of Chesham and Amersham, to the Conservative Party and to the country.”
He added: “Always full of wise advice and good humour, she was much loved on all sides of the House of Commons and will be sorely missed. My sincere condolences to her family and friends.”
Gillan served on the shadow front bench and in the Cabinet under David Cameron, but was replaced following pressure for the post to go to an MP in a Welsh seat and went on to become one of the Commons’ most vocal HS2 opponents.
She also acted as co-chairman of the influential 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs in 2019 when Theresa May faced an attempt to oust her as leader.
Her death will mean a second parliamentary by-election this year. In contrast to the race taking place in Hartlepool, Chesham is widely considered a safe Conservative seat.
Source: POLITICO https://www.politico.eu/article/cheryl-gillan-dies-age-68-former-uk-cabinet-minister/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication