Tory stalwart's top award pride
A Stamford Conservative stalwart inspired to join up when he was just 14 by legendary wartime leader Winston Churchill has had his incredible 67 years of service saluted by the party.
Geoffrey Harper, CBE, has carried out a whole range of tasks for the Tories - and even helped to take democracy to former Soviet Union-ruled countries - across almost seven decades after he got into politics way back in 1951.
The true blue diehard is now thrilled to have been handed a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Conservative Party after devoting all his working life to the cause closest to his heart.
Geoffrey, 81, of Ryhall Road, Stamford, said: “I’m very proud to have received this award - it’s a huge accolade.
“I’ve had one heck of a life in politics and I’ve loved every minute.
“I have genuinely lived the dream.
“I’ve been very lucky - I’ve been paid for pursuing my hobby.”
The father-of-two and grandad-of-three was born into a family of market gardeners in Pudsey, West Yorkshire, in 1937.
“I became interested in politics when I was just a kid and Winston Churchill was and still is my all-time hero.
“He motivated me to join the Young Conservatives when I was just 14,” said Geoffrey.
“I remember telling off my parents because they voted against Churchill in the 1945 general election - after he had saved us from the Nazi jackboot.
“I passed my exam to become a Conservative Party agent in 1961 and I’ve since worked all over the country.”
As well as being a top MPs’ agent he was chairman of the National Society of Conservative Agents from 1987-88, head of training at Conservative Central Office and leader of Fenland District Council for five years.
“We moved to Stamford to be near our two sons, Gavin and Rufus, and we love living here,” said Geoffrey, who lives with his wife Judith, 74.