Former Chancellor Nigel Lawson dies aged 91 as PM leads tributes hailing him an 'inspiration'

3 April 2023, 22:12

Nigel Lawson has died aged 91
Nigel Lawson has died aged 91. Picture: Getty

By Emma Soteriou

Former Chancellor Nigel Lawson has died aged 91.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The former MP and leading Brexiteer served in Margaret Thatcher's government and sat in the House of Lords until his retirement in December.

He was appointed Chancellor in June 1983 and served until his resignation in October 1989, having first represented the constituency of Blaby as an MP from 1974.

Lord Lawson had six children, including celebrity cook and food writer Nigella and journalist Dominic.

Rishi Sunak described the party grandee as an "inspiration" and former PM Boris Johnson described him as a "giant" of Tory politics after the Telegraph announced his death.

Read more: Rishi Sunak says grooming gangs fight 'held back by political correctness' ahead of latest crackdown

Read more: Sunak faces revolt over 'draconian' law allowing workers to sue bosses over offensive customers

Lawson with Margaret Thatcher
Lawson with Margaret Thatcher. Picture: Getty

Mr Sunak said: "One of the first things I did as Chancellor was hang a picture of Nigel Lawson above my desk.

"He was a transformational chancellor and an inspiration to me and many others.

"My thoughts are with his family and friends at this time."

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said Nigel Lawson was a "giant who changed the political weather".

He tweeted: "Saddened to learn of the passing of Nigel Lawson.

"He was a giant who changed the political weather, a lodestar for Conservatives, and a kind man always generous with his wisdom.

"My thoughts and prayers are with his family."

Mr Johnson said: "Nigel Lawson was a fearless and original flame of free market Conservatism.

"He was a tax-cutter and simplifier who helped transform the economic landscape and helped millions of British people achieve their dreams.

"He was a prophet of Brexit and a lover of continental Europe. He was a giant. My thoughts and prayers are with his family."

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said on Twitter: "Sad news that Nigel Lawson has died.

"A true statesman. His contributions to this nation will not be forgotten."

Tory party chairman Greg Hands wrote: "Am sad to learn of the passing of Nigel Lawson.

"He was active in @Conservatives politics until very recently, and will be remembered for his clarity of thinking, commitment to free market economics & willingness to challenge orthodoxies."

Former Chancellor Sajid Javid said: "Very saddened to hear this. One of Britain's greatest public servants, especially as Chancellor."