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Brucelockhart
Tim Montgomerie writes:

"News has reached me of the death of one of the most likeable and principled of modern Conservatives. Lord Bruce-Lockhart died this morning after a long battle against cancer. He was an innovative Conservative leader in local government and a passionate supporter of the party’s social justice agenda. He’ll be hugely missed. Much more to follow."

1.45pm Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP pays tribute:

"Sandy was a hugely successful leader of Kent County Council, often blazing a trail on welfare reform and other aspects of policy which even the Labour Government learned from. He was an iconic example to Conservatives around the country, during our ‘wilderness’ years,  as he showed how, whilst still staying true to Conservative principles of delivering taxpayer value, it was also possible to be compassionate and use the power of Government to deliver to the worst off in society. Under Sandy, Kent was a very well run model of local government working for local people.

"Yet Sandy showed us something else. In this celebrity obsessed media age, Sandy was able to show that it is character, not superficial charisma that count when the public needs well run government. His polite and soft spoken manner belied a steely determination to get the job done, with the minimum of fuss, which is the hallmark of a true leader.

"However it is as a friend and supporter of my Centre for Social Justice, that I will always remember him. Right from the start when few people wanted to know about the project, Sandy volunteered to help the Centre, certain in the belief that putting Social Justice at the heart of Conservative politics was critical to its future. He was a committed friend and his advice and support was invaluable, for which I will always be in his debt.

"I have lost a remarkable friend, the Conservative Party has lost a political giant and the country has lost a loyal, honest and true public servant.

"God speed you Sandy.  My thoughts are with his family at this difficult time."

3pm Tribute from Party Chairman Caroline Spelman:

"I am very sorry to hear of Sandy’s death. He was an exceptionally able local government leader, and Kent will forever be in his debt for his innovative ideas. I was particularly impressed by the way he used his skills to fight the corner of councils throughout the country as chair of the LGA. He and John Prescott, with whom he frequently dealt with in Government, were unlikely sparring partners, but I think John would acknowledge the elegant way Sandy led the LGA .   Sandy came from a diplomatic family and this really showed when he was negotiating."

6.15pm: Tribute from Party leader David Cameron:

"Sandy Bruce-Lockhart was a visionary leader of Kent County Council and put forward powerful arguments about empowering local government which all parties have listened to.  He made a huge contribution to public life as chairman of English Heritage and head of the Local Government Association and will be sadly missed.  My thoughts are with Tess and the family at this sad time."

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