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Tributes paid to Lord Maples
10:36am Tuesday 12th June 2012 in Alcester
TRIBUTES have been paid to former Stratford MP John Maples, whose death was announced this week.
Lord Maples, who stood as the MP for Stratford from 1997 until his retirement in 2010, had been fighting cancer, and passed away on Saturday, June 9 at the age of 69.
The current Stratford MP Nadhim Zahawi said: "John will be remembered as a great parliamentarian and a dedicated constituency MP. He was a gentle and decent man and a real source of help and advice to me when I was selected as the Conservative candidate for Stratford on Avon and later when I was elected as the MP.
“I think all those who met John will remember him as a personable and intelligent man. He served with distinction during his time in parliament, occupying the positions of economic secretary to the treasury and shadow secretary of state for health, defence and foreign affairs during his 22 years as an MP.
“The deep affection in which he is held by all those who knew and worked with him in both the constituency and Westminster says a huge amount about the man that he was, and I know he will be sorely missed.”
Lord Maples took over as Stratford MP in 1997 when the then Tory MP Alan Howarth defected to the Labour party. He had previously held the seat for Lewisham West since 1983.
Prime minister David Cameron, added: “John Maples was a tireless representative for the constituencies he represented over his long and distinguished political career, and one of the kindest and most compassionate politicians I have had the pleasure to work with.
“A loyal and determined Conservative, John played a key role as my deputy chairman for candidates prior to the last election. He recognised the need to change and modernise our party from an early time and, under his leadership, we selected – in some innovative ways – an unprecedented number of new and talented parliamentary candidates, with nearly 150 elected to the House of Commons two years ago. These members represent the future of our party – ensuring that, through their work, John’s legacy will live on for many years to come.”
Alcester county and district councillor Mike Gittus, added: "John Maples was a much loved and well respected man, particularly here in Alcester and he was a constituency man through and through. It didn’t matter whether he sat in the House of Lords, he was always available. He always took an interest in us here in Alcester and he kept in touch regardless of the party politics. He was a much loved man across parties. He really was a great bloke."
Lord Maples leaves his wife Jane and two children Tom and Rose.