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EDITIONS
 Sunday, 26 January, 2003, 17:35 GMT
Lord Younger dies after cancer battle
Lord Younger
Lord Younger held a number of cabinet posts
Former Tory cabinet minister Lord Younger has died at the age of 71.

He had been suffering from cancer.

As George Younger, the MP for Ayr was Secretary of State for Scotland between 1979 and 1986.

He then became defence secretary after Michael Heseltine walked out of the cabinet in the row over Westland helicopters.

He was the most convivial and good-natured man in politics

Lord Tebbit

After leaving politics in 1992, he became the chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

He was also made a life peer in the same year, becoming Lord Younger of Prestwick.

He subsequently inherited the hereditary Viscountcy of Younger of Leckie on the death of his father in 1997.

Lord Younger was married with three sons and a daughter.

Former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath said: "The death of George Younger is a sad loss both to the banking industry and to his public service.

'Good-natured man'

"In the House he played a notable part for the Conservative Party over many years. He was a splendid example to his colleagues.

"We send our greatest regrets to his family."

Tory peer Lord Tebbit said: "He was the most convivial and good-natured man in politics, far more likely to have a good word, rather than a bad word, for either colleagues or opponents."

Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy said: "George Younger was a politician of integrity and impeccable manner.

The country has lost a tremendous, loyal servant and there will be huge sadness in the Conservative Party

Iain Duncan Smith
Tory leader
"He was a traditional Tory player who never found fault with anyone. He will be sorely missed."

Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said the news came as "a heavy blow for all those who knew and admired him".

"The country has lost a tremendous, loyal servant and there will be huge sadness in the Conservative Party," he said.

"George Younger was in the front line of British politics, bravely arguing for strong defence and the nuclear deterrent and as a result he played an important part in the demise of the Soviet Union."

'Core of strength'

Sir George Mathewson, the present chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland, described him as "a natural leader who inspired loyalty and warmth among his colleagues".

"As in everything else he did during his business and political career, the sobriquet, 'Gentleman George' perfectly captured his charm and style.

"But underlying this was a core of strength, integrity and courage which will be recognised by many."

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  The BBC's Carolyn Quinn
"He was a well-regarded, high-ranking Conservative"
See also:

26 Jan 03 | Scotland
26 Jan 03 | Scotland
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