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Long-serving Conservative MP Lord Cormack dies aged 84

Tributes have been paid to the long-serving Conservative MP Lord Cormack, who has died aged 84.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby described the politician, full name Patrick Thomas Cormack, as a “vivid character” while Conservative MP Robert Jenrick said he was “a defender of our national heritage.”

Sir Patrick served as an MP from 1970 to 2010 and was elected 10 times, most recently for the constituency of South Staffordshire from 1997 to 2010.

He also served as shadow minister for constitutional affairs and shadow deputy leader for the House of Commons.

After standing down in 2010, he has served as a life peer in the House of Lords.

Sir Patrick became a Freeman of the City of London in 1980 and was awarded a knighthood in February 1995.

Mr Welby said: “Patrick, Lord Cormack was a vivid character whose decades of public service were driven by his Christian service.

“As an MP for 40 years from 1970, he was a faithful and dedicated member for his constituency. In 2010 he became a member of the House of Lords. His carefully timed and well-judged interventions spoke to his strong Christian faith guiding his values and prompting his interventions.

“Patrick was a traditionalist, an old-fashioned Conservative who in the Lords was willing to criticise his own party when it acted against Christian principles. But he was not tribal.

“He disagreed with many things done by bishops and archbishops, but remained a friend, an adviser and someone to whom we could all turn.

“He was unfailingly kind and courteous and his and his beloved wife Mary’s home in Lincoln was a place of generous hospitality.

“My prayers are with his wife Mary, sons Charles and Richard and their wider family. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.”

Former immigration minister Robert Jenrick posted on X, formerly Twitter: “Growing up in Wolverhampton Patrick was my local Conservative MP.

“Kindly, a believer in tradition and institutions and a defender of our national heritage.”

Common Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said on the same platform that Sir Patrick was “a well-respected political figure and held in high regard in both the Houses, seamlessly going from the @HouseofCommons to the @UKHouseofLords as a great parliamentarian.”

He said: “His knowledge and love of history shone through when I had the pleasure of working with him as a trustee at the History of Parliament Trust.”

The Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt Rev Stephen Conway, said: “I have counted Patrick Cormack as a dear friend and unstinting supporter during my time as Bishop of Lincoln. He will be greatly missed for his service to the arts and heritage across Greater Lincolnshire and beyond.

“His passion, energy, imagination and deep determination were fuelled by a profound Christian faith, lived out through his commitment to the worship and life of Lincoln Cathedral, as a former churchwarden of St Margaret’s, Westminster, and in his wider contribution to parish life not least through the cadences of the Book of Common Prayer to which he was devoted.

“I have learned from him as a fine parliamentarian who was glad to proclaim his Christian faith and go against the tide for the sake of truth. This was equally the case for his service in Parliament, on its Ecclesiastical Committee and during his time on General Synod.

“Our loss is heaven’s gain. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.”