Conservative MP Dame Cheryl Gillan dies after suffering from long-term illness

A Conservative MP and former Cabinet minister has died at the age of 68, Boris Johnson has confirmed.

Dame Cheryl Gillan died on Saturday after suffering from a long-term illness, with the Prime Minister praising her as a “great servant” to her constituency of Chesham and Amersham. 

Mr Johnson added: “I’m very sad to hear the news of the death of Dame Cheryl Gillan. 

“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.”

First elected in 1992, Dame Cheryl had previously served as Welsh Secretary under David Cameron and later as interim chair of the 1922 committee of backbench Conservative MPs.

She continued to serve as a vice-chair until her death.

News of her death was confirmed to local party members earlier in the day by the constituency Conservative association, which said in a statement: “It is with immense sadness that I write to inform you that our MP the Rt Hon Dame Cheryl Gillan passed away. 

“As you may know Dame Cheryl had been very poorly for some time. Cheryl bore her illness with great courage, and throughout her illness continued to serve our constituency with her usual tenacity, diligence and pride.”

Paying tribute to the MP on Twitter, party chairman Amanda Milling 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.

“Cheryl was a dedicated parliamentarian for many decades, serving in the Cabinet and she made a huge contribution to public life and our Party. Our thoughts and prayers are with Cheryl’s family and friends.”

Trade Secretary and Conservative MP Liz Truss tweeted: “Very sorry to hear the sad news about Dame Cheryl Gillan.

“She was a brilliant Parliamentarian, a kind colleague and great fun. We will miss her. All my thoughts with her family and loved ones.”

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