A tribute to Sir Teddy Taylor

A tribute to Sir Teddy Taylor

The death has been announced of Sir Teddy Taylor, Conservative MP for Glasgow Cathcart between 1964 and 1979, and Southend East (later Rochford and Southend East) between 1980 and 2005. He opposed the UK’s entry into the EEC, was a Maastricht rebel during the 1990s and actively campaigned for Vote Leave during last year’s referendum. He is remembered here by Mike Penning MP.

My first impressions of Teddy live with me to this day. I was about to leave the Fire Service and I had no idea what the future would hold for me and my family. A friend had suggested that I write to my MP! So I did and asked for some advice and help.

Teddy wrote back saying, in a way that only Teddy would: “I’ve no idea how I can help you, but let’s try!”

Teddy typed his letters personally and he used to hit the keys on his typewriter very hard so Os and Ps left clear holes through the paper. His passion for smoking left its mark too, with frequent burn marks on the bottom of the A4 paper.

Not long after I visited him in London, we met in his smoke-filled office where we just chatted for several hours. Soon after I started working for him and I stayed with Teddy while fulfilling various other roles for the party.

I always held onto his security pass until the day I was elected for Hemel Hempstead.

Teddy was a man of commitment; whether to a cause or a constituent. A passionate Eurosceptic and committed constituency MP. His home phone number was always in the phone book for everyone in his patch to contact him.

He never asked you your politics, he just wanted to serve his constituents – something that many modern politicians might want to emulate.

I will miss him so much.