Page last updated at 16:17 GMT, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

MP Winston Churchill, grandson of former PM, dies

Winston Churchill
Mr Churchill served as an MP for nearly 30 years

Former Conservative MP Winston Churchill, grandson of the wartime Tory prime minister, has died aged 69.

Mr Churchill, who represented Stretford and Davyhulme in Greater Manchester, had been fighting cancer for two years.

After working as a journalist in the 1960s, he was elected to Parliament in 1970 and remained an MP until 1997.

Mr Churchill later became president of the UK National Defence Association, which campaigned for more support for the armed forces.

Commander John Muxworthy, the association's chief executive, described Mr Churchill as a "true patriot".

He was MP for Stretford until 1983, representing Davyhulme after constituency boundaries changed but he did not achieve high ministerial office.

Wartime papers

Mr Churchill left Parliament in 1997 after the Davyhulme constituency was abolished as part of further boundary changes.

He was criticised in some quarters when he sold his grandfather's Second World War papers to Churchill College, Cambridge, for £12.5m in 1995.

The transaction was paid for out of National Lottery funds and critics said the sum was excessive for documents which many believed should already belong to the nation.

Mr Churchill maintained the papers were his family's property.

The collection consisted of official and personal documents, including early drafts of some of the former PM's most celebrated war time speeches, drafts of letters to Stalin and Roosevelt among others as well as cabinet papers.

Official documents released in 2004 suggested the government could have bought the papers for a fraction of their ultimate price.

In 1971, the government turned down an offer from the trustees of Mr Churchill's estate to purchase them for £100,000.



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