Welsh Conservatives

Former Conservative Welsh Secretary, Cheryl Gillan MP dies after long illness at the age of 68

Boris Johnson and Andrew RT Davies have lead tributes to the former Welsh Secretary who was MP for Chesham and Amersham

Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd, Andrew RT Davies said: “I’m desperately saddened to hear that Dame Cheryl Gillan MP has passed away.

“Cheryl was a model of public service and was respected across the political spectrum. She was incredibly proud of her Welsh roots and served with distinction as Secretary of State.

“Cheryl was a good friend to the Welsh Conservatives and will be sorely missed. On behalf of my colleagues, I send our thoughts and condolences to her family and friends at this difficult time.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “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.”

Amanda Milling, the Co-Chairman of the Conservatives 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.”

Labour party leader, Kier Starmer MP said: “Very sad to hear that Dame Cheryl Gillan has passed away. I worked with Cheryl on a number of issues. She was respected across the House and a great champion for her constituents. My thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time.

Conservative MP for Chatham & Aylesford, Tracey Crouch MP said: “I’m heartbroken to hear the desperately sad news that my colleague Cheryl Gillan has passed away.

“She had been a great source of strength as we went through chemo together. When she told me she was dying I told her all the nice things I would say so she knew she was an incredibly inspirational women in politics who fought for the things she believed in. 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

“My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. Travel peacefully Cheryl. I feel blessed to have known you.”

Born in Llandaff near Cardiff she was brought up on family farms near Usk by her former British Army officer father and mother, who was a Wren, before leaving Wales aged 11.

She was elected as the Conservative MP for the Buckinghamshire seat of Chesham and Amersham in 1992. She was a junior minister for Education and Employment from 1995 to 1997 in John Major’s government, then Conservative whip and spokesperson for Trade and Industry, Foreign Affairs, and Home Affairs.

She was the Shadow Welsh Secretary from 2005 to 2010, assuming the cabinet position of Secretary of State for Wales in the Coalition Government after the 2010 general election.

She was awarded a damehood in the 2018 New Year Honours.

Her death will trigger a by-election in the relatively safe Conservative seat of Chesham and Amersham in Buckinghamshire.

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