It is with immense sadness that I write to inform you that our MP the Rt Hon Dame Cheryl Gillan passed away yesterday, Saturday 4th April.
As you may know Dame Cheryl had been very poorly for some time. Cheryl bore her illness with great courage, and throughout her illness continued to serve our constituency with her usual tenacity, diligence, and pride. This dedication as a Member of Parliament continued right up to her final days, overseeing the safe passage of a Private Members Bill though the Commons only a few weeks ago.
I had the privilege of knowing Cheryl since she was first selected for the constituency of Chesham & Amersham ahead of the 1992 General Election. She was a dear friend and mentor to me.
Cheryl’s obvious talents were well recognised throughout Westminster and beyond. She shone as a bright star, having been appointed to her first of many Government positions in 1995, culminating as Secretary of State for Wales (her place of birth) in 2010.
Cheryl was held in great affection and highly regarded by politicians on all sides of the House of Commons. Her standing amongst Conservative colleagues was reflected in her successful election as Vice Chairman of the prestigious 1922 Committee.
She was an indefatigable campaigner for many causes, most notably fighting the detrimental impact of HS2 and being a champion on all matters relating to autism. In 2018, in recognition of Cheryl’s accomplishments she was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire.
Cheryl had been our MP for 29 years. Her record as a constituency MP was exemplary – representing all residents across the political spectrum; no matter was too small for her. She and her late husband Jack who died two years ago made an impressive team. Our Association and this constituency were well served by them both.
Our thoughts are with Dame Cheryl’s Parliamentary and constituency staff – Mary, Mel, Lorraine, Linda and Christine – who supported Cheryl with loyalty and dedication.
We send our deepest sympathies to Cheryl’s family in their time of grief. We hope they find comfort in the knowledge that Cheryl has been reunited with her beloved late husband Jack, who was so greatly missed by Cheryl and is still missed by us all.
Cheryl will be remembered with considerable fondness and will be greatly missed. Cheryl leaves huge shoes to fill.
Baroness (Emma) Pidding CBE
Chesham and Amersham Conservative Association