7:30pm Sunday 25th March 2012
Lord Newton of Braintree, who served as the town's MP for 23 years, has died at the age of 74.
Although he had remained active in the House of Lords, Lord Newton had been ill for some time and was rushed to hospital earlier this week.
Known to the town as Tony Newton, he was first elected to the Braintree constituency in February 1974.
He became a government whip when the Conservatives won the general election of 1979, and held ministerial positions under both Margaret Thatcher and John Major.
After losing his seat in 1997, he entered the House of Lords as Baron Newton of Braintree.
Brooks Newmark, Braintree's current MP, said: "Tony was a lovely man who served our community and our country well as the Member of Parliament for Braintree.
"He will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with Patricia and his family at this time."
Graham Butland, leader of Braintree District Council, said: "Saddened to learn of the death of Lord Newton earlier today. A man liked on all sides of the political divide."
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