Former MP passes away

Apprentice youth worker Rosie Jo Topliss with Co. Coun. Andy Stewart.
Apprentice youth worker Rosie Jo Topliss with Co. Coun. Andy Stewart.

A former politician in the region has passed away at the weekend, the Chad understands.

Conservative MP Andy Stewart represented the Sherwood constituency between 1983 and 1992, before losing his seat to Labour candidate Paddy Tipping.

The 76-year-old was then elected as a member of Nottinghamshire County Council.

A former farmer, Mr Stewart became a county councillor for a second time in 2002 following a by-election in the Southwell division. He was subsequently re-elected in 2005 and 2009 to represent Farnsfield and Lowdham.

He was Cabinet member for Personnel and Performance from 2009 to 2012 and Chairman of the Personnel Committee from 2012-2013. He opted not to stand for election in May 2013.

Coun Alan Rhodes, leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “I was extremely saddened and shocked to hear of Andy’s death. My thoughts are with his family and friends.

“Andy was a true gentleman who I had the utmost respect for. Although we were on opposite sides politically, we were very much aligned in wanting the best and working tirelessly for the people we represent.

“He will be remembered with great fondness by everyone who came into contact with him at County Hall for his kindness, knowledge and sense of humour.”

Coun Kay Cutts, leader of the Conservative Group, said: “Andy was a well-liked and valued colleague who played a full part in the Conservative administration as our chairman of the personnel committee. His wise-counsel was respected throughout the authority and he had previously served with distinction as the first MP for Sherwood. His experience in local government prior to his election as MP stood him in good stead for that role.

“Andy will be remembered for his services to agriculture, in particular LANTRA, but will probably be best remembered as a practical, ‘hands-on’ farmer who continued to run the farm successfully with his wife, Louise whilst serving his Farnsfield and Lowdham division.

“Our group will remember Andy with great affection.”

He was also the chairman of Hucknall Town FC before becoming the Honorary Life President.

He passed away peacefully at home on Sunday after a short illness. His wife, Louise and family were with him.