Tributes to former MP Lord Renton

THERE is an almost universal theme running through the tributes The Hunts Post has received to Huntingdonshire s former MP, Lord Renton, who died on Thursday. Almost everyone who spoke to us described David Renton as a gentleman . His priest, the Rev Bri

THERE is an almost universal theme running through the tributes The Hunts Post has received to Huntingdonshire's former MP, Lord Renton, who died on Thursday.

Almost everyone who spoke to us described David Renton as "a gentleman".

His priest, the Rev Brian Atling, who was at his bedside with Lord Renton's two surviving daughters when he died, said: "He was an absolute gentleman. He had time for everybody. He was one of the last Edwardians - a delight. You couldn't help love the man."

He added: "He was also a generous benefactor to the church. The proceeds from his book come to us. He was very well liked, and the village will turn out in huge strength for him on Tuesday. We shall miss him dreadfully."

MPs Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon) and Shailesh Vara (North West Cambridgeshire) added their tributes.

Mr Djanogly said: "He was a thoroughly engaging man of the highest integrity, who took a great interest in how I was going on as an MP. He lived in Huntingdonshire and knew more about local history than any other person I have met.

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"He was a thoroughly good constituency Member of Parliament and a man of many talents."

He added: "He loved life and was always one of the last to leave parties. He would still be there chatting at one o'clock in the morning. He was great company."

Mr Vara said: "David was a lovely man - a gentleman in the true sense. He had a rich and varied life during which he served Huntingdonshire and Britain with distinction.

"He will be sorely missed by his family and all who had the pleasure of knowing him."

# Other tributes and memories received by The Hunts Post included:

Richard Turpin, chairman of Huntingdon Conservative Association and a former leader of Huntingdonshire District Council: "It is difficult to pick a single example from the myriad of David's accomplishments but fairly recent one which rather stuck in my mind was when sitting next to him just prior to the AGM in March 2006. David suddenly became aware that he was to give the response to Jonathan's (Djanogly) annual report to the association.

"I watched David throughout Jonathan's delivery and noted that from time to time he jotted down one or two points. Many will be aware that, when given notice, David was known for giving a comprehensive response and I wondered what we might expect. The result was very far from disappointing, and David delivered a pithy short vote of thanks, covering all the major points Jonathan had touched on. I sat thinking how many people did I know capable of such a feat? The answer to which was very few, and certainly no one else at all approaching the age of 98."

David Thorpe, chairman of North West Cambridgeshire Conservative Association: "Lord Renton was the consummate English gentleman - he really could walk with kings, but keep the common touch in dealing with people from all walks of life."

Robert Sturdy MEP: "David was a true gentleman who I worked very closely with and got a lot of support from. A truly great politician who contributed hugely to

this area."

Councillor Keith Walters, until recently leader of Cambridgeshire County Council: "He was a giant of the traditional Conservative Party and worked very hard not only as an MP but also in the other place (that does not always follow in these cases). He will be sorely missed in this area."

Councillor Deborah Reynolds, Mayor of St Ives, and Councillor Kevin Reynolds, a past mayor: "Regardless of your background, David always had the knack of being able to engage with you on almost any subject: he would always give you his time and the benefit of his colossal wisdom."

Councillor John Davies (St Ives): "Many will recall Lord Renton saying: 'I was your MP for nearly 40 years, until you found a better one.' This was obviously in reference to John Major, whom he admired."

Councillor Doug McIlwain, former Mayor of Huntingdon: "David was a man that never left Huntingdon. He was Mr Huntingdon: always immaculate and always with a tie - a Huntingdon tie. I respected that and I am humbled to have known him and to be able to call him a friend. Huntingdon is a poorer place now he has gone. We owe him such a lot.