Tributes to Sir Michael

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A long standing Conservative MP who passionately served the residents of Rutland has died.

Sir Michael Latham was elected MP for Melton in 1974.

He retained the post in 1983 when the electoral seat was extended to cover Rutland as well.

Sir Michael, 74, remained in the Houses of Parliament until 1992 when he stood down.

Opponents and voters on all sides of the political divide respected him and his tireless work for his voters.

Richard, his son, 38, said: “I do remember that he was held in extremely high regard.

“People would always speak extremely kindly about my father.

“He had good friends across the whole of the House of Commons. He was a real constituency MP.”

Sir Michael was born in Southport in 1942 and attended Marlborough College, Wiltshire.

He then spent a few months in the RAF before deciding that a life in the military was not for him.

Sir Michael headed to King’s College, Cambridge, where he gained a first in history. He then worked for Westminster City Council.

Sir Michael married Caroline on November 29, 1969 in Ashwell Parish Church.

He first attempted to gain a political seat near Liverpool before he was elected in Melton in 1974.

He was knighted in 1993 for his services to politics.

Then in 1994 he wrote the Influential Constructing the Team report - known as the Latham Report.

After leaving politics he became deputy chairman of Willmott Dixon Ltd among other roles.

The couple had two sons Richard and James. Caroline died in 2006.

Sir Michael, who suffered from dementia in his later years, lived near Cambridge where he died on Thursday, November 2.

His funeral is on Monday, November 20, at 1.30pm in St James the Great Church, Gretton, Corby.

Sir Alan Duncan took over the Melton and Rutland seat for the Conservatives from Sir Michael.

He said: “He served his constituents for 18 years and always fought hard for them.

“He was one of those capable people who deserved to be a Minister but sadly never was.

“He has left behind him a great personal reputation.”