FORMER Solihull MP John Taylor – who represented the borough for 22 years – has passed away, it has been announced.
The 75-year-old, described as ‘a talented and formidable politician who will be missed’ was elected as MP for Solihull in 1983 and held the seat for the subsequent four General Elections.
He became Secretary of the Conservative Back Bench Committee on European Affairs in 1983, member of the Select Committee on the Environment from 1983-7, as well as Vice Chairman of the Conservative Back Bench Committee on Sport.
He served as an Assistant Government Whip from 1988-9, a Lord Commissioner of Her Majesty’s Treasury from 1989 to 1990 and Vice-Chamberlain of Her Majesty’s Household from 1990-2.
From 1992-5, Taylor was Parliamentary Secretary at the Lord Chancellor’s Department, a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Trade and Industry from 1995-7, and then a delegate Member of the Council of Europe and Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Parliamentary Committees on Trade and Industry and Legal Affairs. He served in the Conservative Whips Office from 1997-9, and became a Shadow Minister for Northern Ireland in 1999.
Solihull Conservatives released the following statement shortly after learning of his passing:
“Solihull Conservatives have been greatly saddened to hear overnight that John Taylor, the former MP for Solihull, has passed away after an illness.
“After serving as leader of West Midlands County Council and as an MEP in Brussels, John represented the town from 1983 until his narrow defeat at the 2005 general election. During his time in Parliament he held several posts in John Major’s Government.
“With staunch support from Ann Taylor, he continued to be a pillar of support and good advice for local Conservatives until the very end of his life. A book of condolences has been opened in the offices of the local Association.
Cllr Mark Parker, Chairman of Solihull Conservative Association: “News of John Taylor’s passing has come as a blow to all of us in the Solihull Conservatives.
“He dedicated so much of his life to Solihull and the West Midlands, first as leader of the West Midlands County Council and then in Westminster, where he served in John Major’s Government.
“Even after the end of his front-line political career he has been a tireless friend to the party, particularly his successor as Conservative candidate for our town, Julian Knight. Our thoughts are with the family and friends he leaves behind as we commemorate his service to Solihull.”
More news and tributes to follow