Dame Cheryl Gillan dead: Former Tory MP dies aged 68 as Boris Johnson pays tribute

Dame Cheryl, who had been an MP for Chesham and Amersham since 1992, became acting joint chair of the influential 1922 Committee of backbench MPs from May to September 2019. She helped preside, along with Charles Walker MP, over the Tory leadership contest to elect a successor to former Prime Minister Theresa May – a contest Mr Johnson won. The Prime Minister said the former cabinet minister, who was known for her campaign work against HS2, would be “sorely missed” and described her as a “great servant”. Mr Johnson wrote on Twitter: “I’m very sad to hear the news of the death of Dame Cheryl Gillan.

“She was a great servant to the people of Chesham and Amersham, to the Conservative Party and to the country as Secretary of State for Wales.

“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.”

Conservative MP and former health secretary Jeremy Hunt also tweeted: “So sad to hear we have lost (Cheryl Gillan) one of the warmest and most generous hearted people in the House of Commons.

“She was a formidable campaigner for autistic people but also the definition of British stoical good humour – an enormous credit to her party and to Parliament.”

Amanda Milling MP, co-chairman of the Conservative Party, added: “It was incredibly sad to hear that Dame Cheryl Gillan 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.

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“She was always kind and helpful to us newbies. She had oodles of wisdom from her years as an MP which she shared willingly. I shall miss her greatly.”

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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