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Tributes paid to former MP

PUBLISHED: 08:39 12 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:49 03 March 2010

SENIOR politicians have paid tributes to former Sudbury and Woodbridge MP Keith Stainton, who has died at the age of 79.

Mr Stainton, of Martlesham Road, Little Bealings, had served as an MP for almost 20 years, first representing the constituency as a Conservative in 1963.

SENIOR politicians have paid tributes to former Sudbury and Woodbridge MP Keith Stainton, who has died at the age of 79.

Mr Stainton, of Martlesham Road, Little Bealings, had served as an MP for almost 20 years, first representing the constituency as a Conservative in 1963.

However, in 1983 he was beaten for the chance to represent Suffolk Coastal, a new seat formed during a boundaries shake-up, by John Gummer, who was Eye MP at the time.

The Suffolk Coastal MP described Mr Stainton as an "assiduous" and well-liked MP whose company he enjoyed.

"I was very sorry to hear of his death. Keith Stainton had a very fine war record and made a unique contribution to Britain's victory," he said.

South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo joined Mr Gummer by also paying tribute to Mr Stainton's career and the dedication he showed to his constituency.

After losing out to Mr Gummer at the age of 61, Mr Stainton decided to try to win the Tory nomination for another new Suffolk seat, Suffolk South, to ensure he could stay at Westminster.

Two-thirds of the new seat consisted of the western half of Mr Stainton's Sudbury and Woodbridge constituency. However, Tory delegates decided upon an outsider – Londoner Tim Yeo – then a 37-year-old director of the Spastics Society.

Last night Mr Yeo said: "He (Mr Stainton) was a recognised Member of Parliament for almost 20 years and very well respected throughout his constituency. I know from many people the tremendous amount of trouble he took with individual case work on behalf of families."

Mr Stainton was the son of a Westmorland crofter. He gained a BA at Manchester University and during the war received medals for torpedo actions in the Mediterranean and work with the French resistance.

After three years as a leader writer for the Financial Times, he went into industrial consultancy until 1956 when he began a 15-year spell with Burton Son and Sanders, of Ipswich.

Mr Stainton was married to Ann and they had six children.

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