Angela has paid tribute to former Ashton-under-Lyne MP Robert Sheldon, who has died aged 96.
Lord Sheldon was elected in 1964 and served as MP until 2001. He joined the House of Lords soon after, retiring in May 2015.
The grandfather of two served on the Public Accounts Committee from 1965–66, holding the chairmanship from 1983–1997. He was also Financial Secretary to the Treasury 1975–1979. During his tenure as the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, he was made a Privy Counsellor in 1977.
Lord Sheldon suffered a heart attack and passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sunday. His funeral will take place in London – where he had lived since his retirement – on Sunday.
He leaves behind wife Mary, children Gill Sargeant and Terry Sheldon (who he had with his first wife Eileen) and grandchildren David and Helen.
Angela said: “Lord Sheldon is Ashton-under-Lyne’s longest serving MP and I know it was a role that he relished. He is a cherished part of our town’s history.
“He took great pride in the relationships he formed with his constituents and the fact that people still talk about him so fondly 19 years after he left the role speaks volumes about how loved and respected he was.
“This wasn’t just a job to him, it was a passion and serving the people of Tameside gave him immense joy.
“Lord Sheldon has always been a huge inspiration to me and I often think about his wonderful achievements as I drive over Lord Sheldon Way. What a fantastic way to make sure he is never forgotten.
“From the facilities he secured for local sports teams and the schoolchildren that were always delighted when he visited to the funding advice he gave to community groups and the local councillors he inspired, his legacy lives on.
“He was so proud to serve the people of Ashton and we were so proud to have him as our MP. He fought fiercely to get the best deal for Ashton-under-Lyne and he still had that fire in his belly when he retired from the House of Lords just dice years ago.
“My thoughts are with Mary, Terry, Gill and all of Lord Sheldon’s family and friends who will be feeling the loss of such a wonderful man.”
Son Terry said: “My dad loved building such a wonderful relationship with the people of Ashton and the people there talk about him with such fondness. He was so proud to serve as MP, it was so important to him. He loved helping people and he was so proud to have a road and a pub named after him in the constituency. He enjoyed a long and distinguished career and he will be sorely missed by his family and friends.”
Daughter Gill added: “My dad and fellow Northern MPs Joel Barnett and Edmund Dell became known as the Three Musketeers thanks to their strength in the finance committees and always pushing for fairer economic policy. My dad was the last surviving Musketeer. We are so very proud of everything he achieved and how loved and respected he was.”