‘Tenement Tory’ Teddy Taylor dies aged 80

Written by Tom Freeman on 21 September 2017 in News

Prominent Glasgow Tory and Eurosceptic Teddy Taylor dies after an illness

Teddy Taylor - credit Euro Realist

Former Scottish Conservative MP Sir Teddy Taylor has died aged 80, his family have said.

Taylor, who represented Glasgow Cathcart from 1964 to 1979, was educated in the city and went on to become a leading Eurosceptic before representing the Essex constituency of Southend East after a by-election in 1980.

He resigned from the Scotland Office as a junior minister in 1971 over Edward Heath’s decision to join the Common Market.

His wife Sheila Taylor told the BBC he had passed away at Southend Hospital after being ill for months.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson described him as “a huge figure in the Scottish party and of the proper tenement Tory mould”.

“Also, he was my mum's MP growing up. Lots of folk in Glasgow would declare 'I'm no voting Tory, but I am voting for Teddy Taylor',” she said.

“He was a true parliamentarian and a great local champion who will be remembered with fondness across the political spectrum.”

The sentiment was echoed by the current MP for the area, the SNP’s Stewart McDonald, who said Taylor’s profile had remained so big locally, “I felt as though I was running against him”.

“He had that gift of being able to secure the respect and votes of those who opposed his politics, because he always put his constituency first and foremost,” he said.

“There must have been hardly a household that hadn't heard from or had assistance from Teddy during his time as the MP for Cathcart.”

Taylor was on the right of the Conservative party, and was a leading member of the party’s ‘Monday club’ pressure group, which argued for tough immigration controls in the 1970s.

He was knighted in 1991, before being briefly expelled for the party as one of the ‘Maastricht rebels’ which came close to bringing down John Major’s government over European integration.

He is survived by his wife and three children.

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