[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 21 July, 2005, 10:54 GMT 11:54 UK
Sir Edward Heath: Your tributes
Sir Edward Heath
Former Conservative Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath has died at the age of 89.

Sir Edward, who was knighted in 1992, won his first seat for the Tories in Bexley in 1950 and led the 1970-74 Conservative Government.

His time as prime minister was blighted by strikes, power cuts, and the three-day working week. But the greatest achievement of his life, as he saw it, was securing Britain's entry into the Common Market.

Tony Blair, who led House of Commons tributes to Sir Edward, said: "He was magnificent... a prime minister our country can be proud of".

Baroness Margaret Thatcher, who beat Heath in a leadership race after he lost the 1974 election and with whom he had a long feud, said he was "a political giant" and "the first modern Conservative leader".


Thank you for your tributes. Read a selection of your e-mails below.

Your tributes:

A great man, of a type that we sorely lack in politics today
David Pickett, USA
He had those fundamental attributes that all national leaders require to do their job properly: honesty, openness, commitment, convictions, courage, and cultural and other interests. A great man, of a type that we sorely lack in politics today.
David Pickett, USA

Ted Heath, a great statesman and parliamentarian, maybe not the best leader and certainly not a great politician in the negative sense that the word often implies. He found time, even when prime minister, to excel in both art and sport - a truly gifted man with integrity.
Russ Sharp, UK

Sir Edward Heath had great moral courage and conviction to do what was right in the face of opposition and adversity which distinguishes him as a true statesman. I am particularly grateful like many other Ugandan Asians fleeing from Uganda whose cause and rights he championed. He gave us a home and our children a future and will remembered for generations to come. This is just one of his benevolent legacies of his leadership.
Virmani, UK

Ted Heath fought the all powerful unions. Then asked the country to decide. A fat lot of good his honesty did him. The "Great British Public" chickened out of the fight, kicked him in the teeth and forced him out of office.
Terry, England

A couple of years ago I was given a copy of Edward Heath's biography, and what emerged was a fascinating, decent guy who had a passionate vision for the future of Europe, and who the Conservative party could still do with today.
A Legge, UK

A truly great English statesman. What a shame he will be remembered mostly for giving us two things, the EU and Thatcher.
Dave, Ramsgate, England

Ted Heath was a kind, modest and humble man
Mike Roberts, England
Anybody who makes the role of Prime Minister is clearly excellent at their job, but more importantly Ted Heath was a kind, modest and humble man, who even called himself a servant to the people of Great Britain. I'm sure he will be greatly missed. It is a shame that all Prime Ministers are not given a State funeral, as this is one man who really deserves one. Rest in Peace.
Mike Roberts, England

Ted Heath was the last Adjutant in my Father's Artillery Unit before they were demobilised in March 1946. My Father always spoke fondly of him. He was a great man: highly intelligent, caring and thoughtful. He was probably the best Prime Minister this country has ever had and the Tory Party stabbed him in the back more than Brutus did Caesar.
Andrew, Northampton

Although not old enough to remember his political career myself I have talked about him with my parents in the past and it appears what impressed them the most about him was that he did what he said and stuck by his words regardless. An example to our present day multi-faced politicians.
Graham, Huddersfield, UK

Sir Edward spent a few weeks with us last year. Even at 87/88 years of age he left a good impression and we enjoyed his company. I am sorry we didn't have more time to listen to his experiences. He will be remembered as a great politician and a great man: He will be remembered for the good he did for our country. Our condolences to his friends and relatives. "Peter et al" in Las Palmas.
P J Nevitt, Canary Islands, Spain

Even though I didn't agree with entering the EU (then EEC) so soon I liked his integrity and principles - how refreshing that a statesman who stood for what they believed in - rather than many of today's straw-men who spend most of their time preening their public images and hanging around catching crumbs from the media's table.
Richard, UK

Ted Heath was a true servant to his country. He dedicated nearly his entire life to serve his country, both in the army and as a member of parliament.
Tom Geoghegan, Seaford, England

I have fond memories of Ted's era as Prime Minister, probably for the wrong reason. I was a teenager and sailed so I found it strange that an old man (so he seemed to me) shared my passion. Also I quite enjoyed the power cuts. We organised candles, sandwiches and drinks on the nights without electricity. It became a family event where we all sat together and chatted.
John Slingsby, England

A common sense politician, whose one nation politics still look fresh today
Felix O'Neill, UK
A common sense politician, whose one nation politics still look fresh today. It's the UK's loss that the electorate took Wilson over Heath, which then led us to the extremes of Thatcherism.
Felix O'Neill, UK

I admire Ted Heath's youthful achievements rather more than his later ones, particularly his unhesitating condemnation of Hitler and Mussolini in the 1930s. And his great war record, where he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, putting himself in harm's way fighting the Nazis.
John, London

Although I was a conservative voter at the time, one regret is I voted him in. I admired him and his work, but he brought my business to a grinding halt, with the introduction of the three day week, and electricity cuts in the 70s. But that is water under the bridge now. I don't think we will ever see a man of his calibre again. May he rest in peace.
Steve Hughes, Spain

Sir Edward had remarkable abilities and talents, but his bluntness and lack of tact made for difficulties in the key 1970s phase of Northern Ireland's difficulties and the resulting terror attacks on London. The statesman he later became would, I feel, have handled offers of help from the Republic of Ireland's government with better grace.
Deirdre Mason, UK

Sir Edward Heath was one of the last gentlemen in politics and a truly great man
Lorna Judge, UK
Sir Edward Heath was one of the last gentlemen in politics and a truly great man. I wrote to him after he lost the 1974 election to express my sadness and offer some support. He took time out of what must have been a very busy schedule to write back to me and I still have that treasured letter to this day.
Lorna Judge, UK

I will always remember Ted Heath speaking of a man who wanted to learn the piano but felt that in his late forties he was too old. Heath, an accomplished musician and then a coming yachtsman also in middle age, cited himself as an example that one is never too old to learn - anything. I started my present business when in my fifties always remembering those words of Ted Heath's. Thank you, Sir Edward.
Patrick Warwick, UK

Ted Heath was PM when we came to the UK from Uganda and I believe it was his positive arguments for Ugandan Asians that allowed us to settle in this wonderful country! Many many thanks to him! May God bless him!
Abid, England

Ted Heath intervened on my behalf when I was a teenager back in the mid-70s. As a resident of his Bexley constituency my mum consulted him when I was having educational difficulties at school. The provision made was unsatisfactory and Mr. Heath got me moved to much better school. Thanks Ted!
J. MacDonald, Germany

Ted Heath's policies in 1970 changed me from being lukewarm Tory to positively Labour. But he was always consistent and stuck to his principles. I knew where I stood with him and I respected him for that, and for his clear-sighted pro-European policy (which I did support). Here he displayed far more vision than the Labour party of the 1970s could ever muster.
Anthony Guter, England

His vision of a one-nation Conservative Party inspired me to get involved in politics at a young age
Stephen Gasche, UK
I was privileged to meet Edward Heath on many occasions as our MP in Bexleyheath. His vision of a one-nation Conservative Party inspired me to get involved in politics at a young age, and the example of his statesmanship and principles have remained with me ever since. My fondest memory of him will always remain an Autumn day in 1995 when he invited me to lunch at his Salisbury home. All of his guests enjoyed his kind, warm-hearted and generous company. If any phrase could sum up his life, it would be the words he chose on the steps of 10 Downing Street on 19 June 1970: "To govern is to serve". May he rest in peace. Amen.
Stephen Gasche, UK

I remember marching in 1974 shouting "Heath Out" with all the rest. Given what happened since under both Labour and Tory governments, I wish I'd kept my mouth shut.
Andrew Clifton, Kuwait, USA, UK ex-pat

One of a dwindling number of one-nation Tories he will be missed. His vision of Europe was based on his wartime experiences and, like those on the Continent who experienced tyranny and war, he was determined to end forever the possibility of war between European nations. For that one moral crusade he deserves to be remembered with honour.
Terry Bishop, England

When my 20 year old son died some 10 years ago I wrote to many MPs asking for support for funding for looking into sudden death. I received a lovely, emotional letter from Sir Edward Heath one that I will treasure - he took the time to write personally and gave me great comfort although he did not know me or my political views.
Shirley Langford, England

One of the few politicians who seemed to grow in stature and wisdom as his age increased. A man who lived a long and eventful life and learned some of it's truths along the way.
Dave, England

A top bloke with a great sense of humour who will be sadly missed. The Conservative party would not be in the mess it is in today if there were more like Ted around. Fair winds and calm seas to you now Ted.
John, UK

We will remember him as one of the greats
Stanley & Monica Jons, UK
We had the privilege to meet him in about 1990. Wiltshire County Council had an exhibition on public rights of way as part of Country Festival in the Cathedral Close just outside his house. Mr Heath came over and I escorted him around. His visit lasted about 15 minutes - he showed great interest and during our conversation - so friendly - told me of the problems they once had with rights of way at Chequers! We will remember him as one of the greats - a larger than life character.
Stanley & Monica Jons, UK

I am proud to be his first constituent to have worked for the European Commission. I first met him on the eve he became prime minister spending almost an hour with him after he gave his traditional election eve speech at Bexley's Freemantle Hall. Personally I found him inspirational - one to one - but sadly he never came over well on TV. When in Brussels he always found time to meet up briefly. Very few politicians aspire to being a statesman as he was. Rest in peace.
Roger Moran, UK

I had the privilege of meeting Sir Edward along with members of the Kent County Organists Association in June 2003. I was then President of the Association. He was a charming man, who shared a number of musical memories. He was a great man who will be sadly missed by us all.
Andrew Cesana, Rochester UK

As a recent graduate of a British politics degree, I undertook quite an in-depth study of Sir Edward. To my mind, he will remain among the most decent and honourable prime ministers in British political history. Despite what his detractors say, his achievements are unprecedented.
Stephen Hartley, UK

His input into the political arena will certainly be missed
Don, UK
I was fortunate to attend a speech Edward Heath gave in 1981 entitled North-South. He held everyone's interest for well over an hour with no notes, on the plight of Third World poverty and debt - something he was trying to address over 20 years ago. I am certainly no supporter of the Tory party, but this man definitely had my respect, and I agree with Tony Benn in that he was certainly more left wing than Tony Blair. His input into the political arena will certainly be missed.
Don, UK

Edward Heath was the bridge between the Tory leadership of privilege and its modern more democratic incarnation. I had the pleasure of meeting him briefly in 1972 and found him an affable individual with a common touch while taking control of a party which considered that it had divine right to govern the masses. His vision on Britain in Europe was not his alone, he believed in the same possibilities as Churchill and later Macmillan that to be heard one must be with the game and not stand on the sidelines. Sadly he did not receive the support to break the unions' stranglehold on the economy for which Mrs Thatcher subsequently received plaudits. Be under no illusion, it was Heath who led the way for her. I am sad that history has not been kinder to Edward Heath, perhaps hindsight will correct this myopic view.
Jon Friend, London, UK

Ted Heath embodied the very essence of the Conservative ideal. Rising from humble beginnings to lead a nation into Europe, his legacy will empower many from ordinary backgrounds who aspire to achieve their goals.
Max Harris, UK

As an expatriate Brit, I see Edward Heath's greatest achievement as taking the country into the European Union. Britain can no longer stand alone and is far too far from the American continent to become another state of the USA. May his legacy lead to a better understanding of world affairs and the part Britain can play as a member of a united Europe.
Maria Allsopp, South Africa

Britain loses yet another colourful political figure. There aren't many figures like Sir Ted left in politics today. Figures like Ted Heath and the late James (Lord)Callaghan made politics interesting and although not of my political persuasion Ted Heath was a man of conviction and of honour, one of the old school of politicians.
Martyn Howie, Scotland

Sir Edward Heath came across as a decent man
Andrew, Nottingham, UK
My strongest memory of Sir Edward Heath is that of the first and only prime minister to show a active interest in classical music. Apart from his own appearance on the conductor's podium, he invited many famous musicians on the day to perform at 10 Downing Street. Sadly, his successors have not shared his cultured taste, least of all the current PM's association with Britpop. Sir Edward Heath came across as a decent man.
Andrew, Nottingham, UK

A rounded individual with, and because of, real life interests outside politics, and a better political representative of the people for it.
Malcolm Carter

The Conservative party mistrusted and then misjudged Heath. He at least could see the value of small c conservatism, yet the unions harried him out of power causing their mutual demise. I doubt he was pleased but the present prime minister has substantially stolen the ground that Heath held for the now defunct broad church that was once the Conservative Party. The chances are that we disaffected light blue Tories will not have the chance to vote again.
Huw Rees, UK

The last great British prime minister. At a troubled time in Britain he steered the ship with a tactful, dignified, and highly intelligent hand. A man of culture, and a fitting example for others, he led us into Europe with Britain's culture and identity intact, and fostered that image of an open, fair country whenever possible. It's not only the Tories who will miss his intelligent political savvy.
Alex, Brit currently studying in Moscow, Russia

I'm no Conservative supporter, but Ted Heath had a lot of qualities that politicians of every colour could do well to study if they want to regain the respect of the people of the UK. Humility, humour, honesty and straight answers to straight questions.
Nigel Greensitt, UK

In 1972 I was working in the Scottish Office in Whitehall when Ted Heath jumped into the same lift as me. Unsure whether small talk was appropriate, I asked him if he was well. "Well?" he thundered, "Well? I have never been better my Scottish friend." He then gave that familiar laugh and ruffled my hair. A good man, he will be sadly missed.
Bill Stitt

The acceptable face of Conservatism
Rod Main, Newhaven, UK
The acceptable face of Conservatism. A man who believed that his kind of policy should and could appeal to the majority of people in the country. Sadly, he misjudged the support for the trade union movement. The Conservative Party, and quite possibly the people of the country, misjudged him as a result. The Conservative party under Thatcher then set a course to the right away from consensus to the handbag mentality. It may never recover. Ted Heath quite rightly was dismayed at the direction it took and still takes. Right for the wrong reasons, or wrong for the right reasons, it depends which side of the Conservative fence you are on.
Rod Main, Newhaven, UK

The Rt Hon Sir Edward Heath was probably the most welcoming Prime Minister in British History. Ethnic minority communities will never ever forget his candour, fatherliness and warmth. May he eternally rest in perfect peace.
Prof Joseph Obi, United Kingdom

Ted Heath should be remembered for being the first, and probably only, British Prime Minister to see that Britain's future lies with Europe rather than America. He also tried his best to unify the country in almost impossible conditions of a world recession and an acute oil crisis. He rightly abandoned his reform programme mid-term in order to prevent mass unemployment. Heath put the country first above narrow, sectional interests.
Julian, Chesterfield, United Kingdom

I was responsible in asking Sir Edward to fly to Iraq to negotiate the release of the British hostages. His one condition was that his mission was approved by the Government, which it subsequently was, from Margaret Thatcher down, including Douglas Hurd (Foreign Secretary) and his understudy William Waldegrave. On returning from holiday and flying out on the Virgin flight with Sir Richard Branson to meet up with Sir Edward and the hostages I was appalled to learn from Sir Edward that he had been criticised by government ministers for daring to go to Iraq. What a pity the sanction given by the Prime Minister was not made clear to all in Parliament. Sir Edward was a gentleman and prepared to put himself in the firing line regardless of the personal attacks on himself. The critics of his mission should hang their heads in shame for not recognising a truly great statesman. He even visited my brother-in-law (who has since died) when ever he was in Blackpool
Frank Hessey, England

Unlike many of today's politicians he had a hinterland - sport and the arts. He was a keen supporter of Kent County Cricket Club and spoke at the club's annual dinner in April 1970, not long before he became Prime Minister and just before the beginning of a season in which Kent won the County Championship for the first time for nearly 60 years.
Paddy Briggs, UK

I met Ted Heath when I was 17. Although he was Conservative leader and I was a raw, young Labour supporting firebrand he still encouraged me to become actively involved in politics. To this day I still remember his advice "Doing something about the things in which you care passionately is always better than doing nothing - no matter what the party." I was saddened by the news yesterday and mourn the passing of one who made a difference in my own life.
N Meadows, UK

Undoubtedly he was a well meaning man, but he sold us a bag of goods in joining the EEC. We went in under French terms and have paid the price ever since. He could have formed an Anglo Saxon economic union with Canada, Australia and New Zealand (and later the USA) and benefited the UK tremendously, but he was too tied to the idea of a "peaceful" Europe requiring the UK and thought they (the French) would welcome us, they didn't.
Andy, UK

A thorough gentleman and an extraordinary visionary
Ashok Ravaliya, UK
A true statesman with a passion for doing the right thing. He will be missed greatly by the Ugandan Asian community whom he openly welcomed into the UK in 1972 when the dictator Idi Amin expelled them amidst opposition from the right wing of the Tory party and others. A thorough gentleman and an extraordinary visionary, Ted Heath has undoubtedly earned a noteworthy place in history as one of the great Prime Ministers.
Ashok Ravaliya, UK

I look on Sir Edward Heath as being one of the great post-war leaders, whom nobody recognised at the time, including me. The 1970-1974 period when he ruled I term as 'a revolution aborted' - introduction of VAT, decimalisation, industrial relations act, airbus, rescue of Rolls Royce, entry into Europe, work on the channel tunnel etc. Unfortunately, he was not supported by the people, and it seems to me was very shabbily treated by many. An admirable gentleman in a world of spivs.
Clive Hole, Briton living in Paris

Whatever "legacy" he may of left, it was totally diluted by his sour puss sulking in later years. Let us not forget that he ruined this independent nation by selling us off to a miss sold European dream which existed only in his head. He was however a totally honest bloke, what you saw was what you got, no spin, take it or leave it. If only we had this in politics today
Mike Pike, Wallington Surrey

A politician of the highest integrity and a genuine gentleman, Sir Edward was head and shoulders above the rest. I have always admired him.
Franz Hutter, Austria

Sir Edward advocated the type of Europe, and Britain's relationship with it, that many of us wish we could still achieve today: a truly United Kingdom being proactive in a Europe of free trade and economic cooperation. It's the European project that subsequently lost the plot, not Sir Edward.
Bruce Acton, Winchester, UK

Although I am a lifelong Labour voter, I always felt that he was a honest and trustworthy politician. Something that will be sorely missed.
Don, UK

He might have been a nice bloke but he strikes me as a patrician Tory who ultimately thought he knew what was best for us and clearly he didn't. The 1970s were a decade of economic stagnation, unbridled union power, decline in the public services especially in terms of transport and the beginnings of many of the social problems we live with today. Apart from taking us into Europe (which is a mixed blessing) he achieved nothing.
Carl Bennett, England

A man of greatness and humour
William Murray, USA
Sir Edward Heath, a man of greatness and humour that will be missed not only in the UK but throughout the world.
William Murray, USA

I thought that Ted Heath was a great statesman. He is one of the few British politicians whom I actually liked and admired. Now that he has died, the only one like him left is Robin Cook.
John, Hemel Hempstead, UK

Edward Heath's huge personal popularity is a mystery to me, though he may have been well intentioned. Heath's achievements have to be measured against backdrop of the political climate he operated in. Securing membership of the EU will become Heath's historical accolade but on almost all other policies, he and his advisors, failed miserably. As a Democratic Nationalist SDLP, living and working in N Ireland, Edward Heath's N Ireland policy had been very much a mixed bag, he never discriminated against any one section of our community, he despised us all with his, "we are not only fighting a military war - but a propaganda war" though he did abolish the old Stormont regime and tried for the first time in modern history to kick-start the peace process by introducing, what has become known as, the Unionist/Nationalist Power Sharing Executive. Regretfully his bold and imaginative initiative was choke-chained from the onset and doomed to failure. Edward Heath RIP.
Eddie Espie, Cookstown N Ireland

The Tory flag of hope will fly at half mast today.
Rod Watson, Winchester, Hants

Ted Heath had the experience, knowledge, and despite many setbacks, the resilience to take the UK into the European Common Market. He also possessed courage and took on the then all too powerful Trade Unions, and as a true democrat asked the British electorate for a mandate to curb their power. Unfortunately, the electorate did not share his view and a few years later we paid the price with Margaret Thatcher who destroyed the economic infra-structure of this country and polarised society.
Ian Sanderson, UK

I will remember Edward Heath as one of those very rare types of politicians who would give a straight answer to a straight question in interviews. It was always so refreshing to hear someone answer with a simple 'no' or 'yes', when half expecting a deluge of half-truths, side-lines and elaborate pseudo-answers.
Abel, The Netherlands

I never have and, never will vote Tory but, as Tories go, Ted Heath was one who stood out as the acceptable face of the Conservative Party. I remember, as a child in Broadstairs, going to a Christmas Carol Concert with Ted Heath playing the organ. This was before he became leader of the Party. Joining the Common Market was an achievement which we should all be thankful for the benefits it's given the UK. A legacy for which he will always be associated with.
Kev, Bushey, UK

While he had his good points, he leaves behind a disastrous legacy - EU membership.
Les, Morpeth, England

Statesman, humanist, honest, straightforward truly representative of the countries needs and hopes. No more could be asked of any politician. A truly great man.
C Tottman, UK

An honourable and decent man shunned out of political limelight, he will always be remembered for his clarity of thought and being sensitive and human to his wider audience. A great man with a humble beginning. Will be sorely missed.
Joseph Hathiramani, England

I met him once, whilst having a drink at a pub in Salisbury. He and his bodyguard sat down near to us and we had an interesting conversation for an hour or so. I'm not sure how many other MPs would do that, let alone an ex-PM.
Ian Norris, UK

Ted was the man that got me into politics
Gregor Macgregor, UK
Ted was the man that got me into politics. His vision of Europe, a compassionate society and a future of Britain free from the excesses of trade union power, represented what I still stand for in politics.
Gregor Macgregor, UK

Bye bye Ted. I remember the BBC once cancelled Captain Scarlet because the applause for your famous conference speech overran. And I remember that indeed your shoulders DID shake, just like Mike Yarwood's impersonation.
Simon, London

Tory or Labour - I am the latter - Ted Heath should be remembered for having the courage of his convictions and a true sense of honour. In particular, for the way he immediately and unhesitatingly sacked Enoch Powell for his 'Rivers of Blood' speech; no preamble, no wavering, Heath sacked him. And for the way he hauled then Education Secretary Thatcher into line when she tried to introduce vouchers. An honourable, decent man. The political landscape is lessened by his loss.
Dan Tanzey, England

As a man of integrity I doubt if Sir Edward realised that the EEC into which he took us would become the corrupt anti-democratic EU. It's a pity that his "great achievement" should be so tarnished.
Edward, UK

I always admired him as a man who always spoke the truth
Barry Clements, England
Ted Heath was a man not of my politics but I always admired him as a man who always spoke the truth. He would have reformed the Tory party and the country, but in a much less hurtful and a more considerate way than his successor. He was a great and truthful leader and will be much missed.
Barry Clements, England

A decent chap with interests outside politics. However, he was naive and misguided on entering the EC, and unfortunately was put in awkward positions with the downturn of the economy and rising petrol prices, which he ultimately failed to deal with. Thus said, a war hero, and a patriot, the attributes lacking in today's leadership.
David, UK

Sir Edward was my MP for many years. He was a very good constituency MP and was always willing to help. I had the pleasure of meeting him once shortly before he retired and despite the fact that he was a well respected statesman near the end of his career he still sought to help a constituent with enthusiasm. I was grateful to him for his help and was truly thankful of having had the benefit of a genuine, caring, honourable MP.
Nick Jones, UK

A honest and forthright man. No spin doctors for Ted Heath - a true rarity among politicians.
Stuart Chapman,

I've never been a fan of his, due to the way he handled the cod war. I am however sad that he had to endure painful illness the last two years, but relieved for him that his pain is now over.
Peter, UK

The last role model for any aspiring Tory leader
Martin, Wales
Sir Edward Heath's last election broadcast before the 1970 General Election was brilliant. He was not a natural communicator in the way Harold Wilson was, but his honesty and decency shone through in that broadcast, and so to some of us the result was not as surprising as many of the commentators have implied. A great and good man, the last role model for any aspiring Tory leader.
Martin, Wales

I can always remember when I first met Sir Edward and a group of people and I went to see him regarding the local authority wanted to sell off some land for houses, the land was on the site of a day centre for adults with learning disabilities. Sir Edward listened to our argument and supported us 100%, he was a true gent and honest until the end. A few months later when we won our battle Sir Edward came to the day centre with an orchestra and gave us a free concert to raise funds for urgent repairs, he also hosted a dinner and was funny, witty and enlightening about his life and his achievements/regrets but despite the events in 1974 he always laughed and smiled despite the obvious pain. Rest In Peace Sir Edward.
Richard, UK

The last great Tory Leader. I had the honour of meeting him while I was an undergraduate at QMC, where he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate just after the Iraq Hostage Crisis. He came across as a gentleman and very informal, joking with the students in the reception afterwards. Edward Heath was a man of vision and passion: the Conservative Party is now worse off for not heading his advice. May he rest in peace.
Frank, UK (London)

I am no supporter of the Tory party but he is one of the few I had nothing but the utmost respect for.
Roman Iwaskow, Japan

The acceptable face of conservatism - unlike the one followed.
M, India

A great conservative leader. A kind and understanding gentle man who was ahead of his time and was left with too many problems to solve in the time available. Thank you for taking us into Europe. He was the last Conservative leader who had my vote.
Paul Weaver, UK

Consider the alternate Britain had he not been the PM when he was and rejoice indeed, for he was
Tahir Ishaq, UK
Consider the alternate Britain had he not been the PM when he was and rejoice indeed, for he was. Consider a gentleman politician with honesty and integrity (without spin) and the true loss manifests itself. May he rest in peace.
Tahir Ishaq, UK

A Tory who, by today's standards, stood to the left of Tony Blair. Some may say he was stabbed in the back. He single-handedly rescued the Tory party from collapse after the Suez Canal debacle and was the first prime minister to truly stand up to the unions, which unfortunately was probably his downfall.
R Leach, UK

I feel sure the kind words about Sir Edward reflect a warmth from those who knew or respected him, but commenting on him as a politician I'm afraid his judgements were flawed on several topics such as the so-called Common Market. I thought him weak in the struggle against the unions which is the reason the party chose Maggie top put this country back to the fore.
James, Bucks, UK

I was delighted when Ted Heath beat Harold Wilson. Here was an honest man who would govern with equal regard to all shades of opinion. Unfortunately he proved weak and compromising in the face of hostile Trade Union leaders. His sour reaction to his successor, who fought the battles he failed to fight, has sadly reduced his reputation amongst succeeding generations.
Gerry Summers, England

When it came to taking on people in the trenches and standing firm, Ted would strap on his helmet and get stuck in. A mile away from the current crop. We were spoilt with him - he was the marzipan on the cake of Conservatism. RIP big fella!
Garence, London

He was a man with a good heart, a politician with a conscience
James Molloy, Scotland
A thoroughly likeable and humorous man with many talents, Mr Heath will be sadly missed. He was a man with a good heart, a politician with a conscience. He was the premier at a time of great economic and industrial upheaval in the UK, so his time as prime minister was a troubled one. However his level headed contributions throughout his political life will ensure his deserved place in this country's history.
James Molloy, Scotland

He lost three elections, brought in decimalisation, took us into the EU, and reduced us to working a 3 day week. Undoubtedly the worst record of any prime minister in modern times, yet his popularity remained high. Remarkable!
Kevin O'Brien, England

My father was his private secretary when he was Minister of Labour. Heath was a very punctual man, and once when my father had got him onto a train a full five minutes before the train left, he fixed him with a beady eye and said, "Well, Private Secretary, what do we do NOW?"
Megan, Cheshire UK

He stood up to the strikers and gave the country a choice in 1974, it was either he that ran the country or the strikers. Even though he got about a quarter of a million more votes than Labour be lost the election and this could happen again because we still have this barmy unfair voting system. Still, I bet he had a chuckle knowing he had far more votes than Labour. The country loved to see him laughing, it became his trademark.
Graham, Gibraltar/UK

Edward Heath's enduring legacy is that he was the first prime minister to challenge union power
Hugh Bonsey, Salisbury
Edward Heath's enduring legacy is that he was the first prime minister to challenge union power. Even though he was defeated, he made it possible for Margaret Thatcher to continue the process and create a strong economy.
Hugh Bonsey, Salisbury

Even in his final hours, Sir Edward Heath maintained his honourable stature; an honourable man, an honourable politician; something that is totally lacking in today's political world. We will never see his like again.
Mike Wiles, Wales

I admired Ted Heath greatly for his wit and as an avowed European. I do not agree in the bureaucratic Europe that he was so willing to defend, but behind that was his love of the peoples of Europe and a determination to see that we never go to war with France or Germany again. He has assured all Britons that our fortunes are irrevocably locked in Europe, and we are all the better for it. A great man and I will miss him.
Carl Evans, Cardiff, UK

I was no fan of Heath. But he did sack Enoch Powell in 1968, taking an immediate and principled stand against racism, and for that alone I shall always defend him.
Tom, UK

How ironic that this great man is only praised after his death? Although no Tory supporter I thought he was the best leader the Conservative Party ever had - and they threw him onto the scrap heap. He displayed compassion, statesmanship, vision, and great patience in his negotiations with the EU and with Saddam. He had tact, a sense of humour and - a priceless quality in politicians, but quite rare - humility. In short he possessed everything that his successor and her disciples lacked and for which their party is now paying the price.
Charles, UK

He was a great example to those of humble origins who aspire to greater things
Chris H, Netherlands
I remember the 'Winter of Discontent' as a student, watching all the miners' strikes, etc on the telly and thinking I wouldn't like to be in Mr Heath's position. He was unfairly treated by his party, but maintained his dignity at all times. A great elder statesman, one who brought us into the EEC - a great step for the UK. He was also a man of other outstanding talents, particularly in the field of music and sailing. He was a great example to those of humble origins who aspire to greater things. He was a great asset to the country. I shall remember him with fondness.
Chris H, Netherlands

Although I believe his optimism about the European project was naive and misplaced, nevertheless I believe he always acted with integrity. O that there was more of his sort of integrity in the Commons today.
Jonathan Rogers, UK

Sir Edward Heath was the leader we should have had in the 80s. He took us into Europe ..a great lasting achievement...he had seen Hitler's Europe at first hand...and knew we had to unite. He was the leader we needed in the 80s but did not get. A great patriot an honourable and courageous man......a leader
R Deacon, New Zealand

The death of Ted Heath is a great loss. His One Nation Tory views were a constant reminder of what the Conservative Party used to be- and what it should be. Both, sadly, have now gone.
Mark, Cheadle, UK

What I remember most about Sir Edward Heath was a fundamental decency underlying everything he did. He was not a particularly effective Prime Minister but he was, paradoxically a thoughtful and intelligent politician. He was also a jolly good fellow and his like are sadly missed in politics these days.
Alcuin Edwards, UK

Edward Heath was the last of the great "one nation" conservative leaders. Above all, he took us into Europe: what a shame that most modern politicians don't share his belief that support for the European ideal is totally consistent with a deep love of this country and its institutions.
David Johnson, UK

The last great Tory leader. He will be sadly missed.
Mark Jones, UK

My father was such a fan of Edward Heath that he named me after him
Ed Karten, London
My father was such a fan of Edward Heath that he named me after him. I have not always been proud of that fact, but it's undeniable that Sir Edward was part of a generation of politicians, Labour as well Tory, that unfortunately is dying out.
Ed Karten, London, England

He took us into the EU. He was sceptical about the 'Special Relationship'. He was cultivated - he had genuine, deep interests outside politics. He was a great musician. He celebrated his 80th birthday by conducting the 'Ode to Joy' - thereby showing his love for Europe. If only politicians of that sophistication and roundedness were less rare!
Thomas, England

At the time when he was prime minister, I was 8-12 and lived in Bexley, I do remember my parents and my friends' parents saying they had just spoken to 'Ted Heath' in the pub, steak house, shops etc. and they were genuinely pleased that he took time out to mingle and chat with his constituents on a day to day level, not some pre-arranged farce.
Tim, UK

I only met Sir Edward Heath once long before he was knighted. It was when Lord Ian Orr-Ewing was MP for Hendon South. He came along to an election rally in Edgware and gave support to Ian Orr-Ewing. My late father was a councillor and was Ian Orr-Ewing's 'right hand man' for the election. He was a great man and will be sorely missed in the political ranks.
Peter Stewart, England

A great man of honour who will be missed
Martin Parkes, UK
If the Tory party embraced his kind of conservatism we would probably have a Tory government today. A great man of honour who will be missed.
Martin Parkes, UK

Sir Edward Heath was one of the few English people to appreciate the true philosophy of the European Union, that it was founded to prevent future wars in Europe. In this he was a great statesman. It is just unfortunate that he did not inspire the British people to understand this view. I am sure history will be kinder to him than many of his so called colleagues.
Pauline Fothergill, United Kingdom

Not just another politician, but a man with abiding interests outside Westminster, a successful and talented musician and also a yachtsman of great experience. A valuable lesson for today's mass produced career clones.
Andrew Fanner, UK

I've never been a conservative supporter, but I held Edward Heath in great esteem. He was a moderate man who acted on the best possible motivations instead of the self-interest of later leaders. The conservatives could do a lot worse than to model their long-overdue restyling on him.
Kelly Mouser, Upminster, Essex

To take the UK into the European Community was a great success.
Adam, UK
Sir Edward was a great statesman and the last true "One Nation Conservative" to lead the Conservative Party. To take the UK into the European Community was a great success. Sadly the political agenda of certain trade union leaders brought down Sir Edward and the following Labour government. But other successes, including freeing the "human shields" held by Saddam Hussein showed Sir Edward as a great negotiator and international statesman.
Adam, UK

Even though Sir Edward Heath was a top Conservative, there was something about him that made me like him, something that made me feel a sense of hope for the Conservative Party. A true and genuine politician who loved his party, loved his sport and music and indeed loved his country. He will be missed. God Bless Sir Edward.
Anon, UK

I worked in the Commons for Sir Edward while at university in the winter and spring of 1996; one of perhaps a hand full of Americans to enjoy that privilege. In retrospect the time spent in Sir Edward's office was one of the most formative experiences of my life. But for that experience, I would not have pursued the career in international law I have today. Sir Edward was not an easy man to know or understand but he was ever a fascinating and supremely intriguing character. Although I had not seen Sir Edward in years, I feel a striking sense of regret and loss at his passing. I will always owe him a debt gratitude for providing me with such an amazing and important life experience.
Matthew Teismann, South Korea

I was saddened to hear of this dignified, elder statesman passing. He left a legacy of Britain's continuing power in Europe, without which, we would have had to have sat on the sidelines instead of having an active say in our country's future
Martin Irwin, UK

A truly great European with great vision.
Saviour Grech, Malta

He stands head and shoulders above the all other Tory leaders since
Agara Sudhindra, USA
I am saddened to hear the death of Sir Edward Heath. I was living in the UK at the time he was the first elected leader of the Conservatives and won the election. He was a man of integrity and principle devoid of bigotry. In my opinion he stands head and shoulders above the all other Tory leaders since. May his soul rest in peace.
Agara Sudhindra, USA

The last great Tory leader. After Ted Heath was ousted in favour of "that woman" I no longer voted Conservative. Sensible Toryism had gone. God bless you Ted.
Barry, UK

I think Sir Edward was the first truly modern Conservative leader. A bachelor from a working class background. He had the courage to take us into the EEC. With his body shaking laugh he was much parodied, but never forgotten even when he was a backbencher. He was a parliamentarian in the truest sense of the word.
Sally Haynes, England

A thorough gentleman, who had the misfortune to lead "donkeys". It is a shame that his virtues are being praised after his death.
S. Chopra,UK




RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific