Andrew Bridgen (pictured), Tory candidate for Leicestershire NW, led Tory tributes yesterday to the sudden death of the constituency's Labour MP, David Taylor:
“I was saddened to hear of the death of David Taylor, who has been an excellent MP for North West Leicestershire and one of the most popular Parliamentarians in the country. He was committed to his work for local people and led our constituency in a positive direction. I admired him for standing up to the Labour party on issues that were not favourable to the district. As a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate myself, I understand just how hard he worked to represent the Constituency. David Taylor set an example in taking this district forward, something which the next MP – from whatever party he or she comes - must build on. My wife and I would like to send our deep sympathy to his family and friends for a loss that is especially poignant at this time of year.”
Mr Taylor was a committed churchgoer and Tory MPs with Christian backgrounds joined the public praise.
Mark Pritchard MP commented: "David was a true Parliamentarian. He was hard working, independent-minded, always on his feet in the Chamber, and was a real champion for pro-life and animal welfare issues - amongst the many other campaigns he fought so valiantly for. David did not shrink from his beliefs - even with the onslaught of fads, fashions, political correctness, and the Labour whips. He also held a deep Christian faith. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this very sad time".
Nadine Dorries MP Twittered: "MPs phones buzzing with sad news re death of David Taylor MP. A man of principle with whom we all got along. Thoughts are with his family."
Mr Taylor was due to stand down at the next General Election and local councillor Ross Willmott had been selected to defend a projected Labour majority of 4,477. It is probably in Labour's power to delay the by-election so that it is not held until the General Election.