News has just reached me that former Cabinet minister Lord Walker of Worcester has died at the age of 78. Just last month his son Robin was elected to represent the Worcester seat he once represented himself in Parliament.
"Lord Walker held a number of Cabinet posts during his parliamentary career. He was Environment Secretary and Trade and Industry Secretary under Edward Heath, and Energy Secretary and Welsh Secretary under Margaret Thatcher. The founder of the Tory Reform Group, Lord Walker was appointed a life peer after his retirement as an MP in 1992.
"Lord Walker was surrounded by his family when he passed away this morning."
Many ConHome readers will also have come across him in recent years during his time as chairman of the Carlton Club.
Our deepest condolences to the whole Walker family at this sad time.
Nick Bourne, leader of the Welsh Assembly Conservatives, has paid the following tribute:
"“I am extremely saddened by this news. I have known Peter Walker for many years and sought his advice on many occasions. Peter Walker was a dedicated public servant and had a distinguished career serving at the highest levels of government. Only recently he was campaigning in Wales during the General Election. Peter Walker’s time as Welsh Secretary will be remembered for his dynamism, activism, and hands-on approach, and for his efforts to fight for Wales in Cabinet, and at home at abroad.”
Thursday morning update:
Robin Walker MP has issued this statement on behalf of the Walker family:
"Peter Walker passed away quietly on Wednesday morning after a long struggle with cancer. His whole family were able to be with him in his last days. He will be hugely missed by his wife Tessa, five children and five grandchildren. As a politician he always believed in the importance of helping those most in need, combining efficiency with compassion. He was a true one nation Conservative and a patriot. His great personal compassion was always reflected in his private life.
"To the end he was passionate about his work and his family, working diligently and enthusiastically, but always taking the time to support and cherish those closest to him. For all his great achievements, those who know him best will remember him most for his humour and generosity.
"Having dedicated so much of his life to serving Worcester, it was appropriate that he was able to spend his last days there. As a passionate supporter of the hospice movement, who for many years championed the cause of palliative care in Parliament, he would have been proud of the care that was provided for him at St Richard's Hospice. The family would like to thank the staff and volunteers at St Richard's and all the friends who have supported us through this difficult time."