Rishi Sunak says Nigel Lawson was an ‘inspiration’ to Tory politicians

Conservative former chancellor Nigel Lawson was an “inspiration” to Tory politicians, Rishi Sunak has said.

The Prime Minister said he hung a picture of Lord Lawson above his desk when he became chancellor, while Boris Johnson called the party grandee a “giant”.

Tributes flooded in for the leading Brexiteer who served in Margaret Thatcher’s government and sat in the House of Lords until his retirement in December, after his reported death on Monday.

Rishi Sunak visit to Greater Manchester
Rishi Sunak was among those paying tribute (Phil Noble/PA)

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

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

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.”

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt tweeted: “Nigel Lawson was a rarity amongst politicians, someone who transformed our thinking as well as transforming our economy.

“Since he stepped down as Chancellor his shoes have been impossible to fill but he inspired all his successors, leaving the country more prosperous & enterprising.”

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly labelled him a “true statesman”, while Sajid Javid paid tribute to “one of Britain’s greatest public servants”.

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab 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.”

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 Home Secretary Priti Patel posted: “Nigel was giant of British politics and a strong champion of free market Conservative values.

“A generation of families and businesses have benefited from the economic freedoms he delivered for our country. He will be greatly missed and my thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick tweeted: “I’m saddened to hear of the death of Nigel Lawson.

“A man of exceptional ability, an architect of the Thatcher revolution, he helped rescue Britain from socialism and build a dynamic, enterprise economy. A true Conservative hero.”

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