North Devon’s former MP dies

11:26 18 February 2013

Tony Speller is congratulated by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher after winning North Devon for the Conservatives in the 1979 general election.

Tony Speller is congratulated by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher after winning North Devon for the Conservatives in the 1979 general election.

Archant

Tony Speller, who was MP from 1972 to 1992, passes away aged 83.

FORMER North Devon MP Tony Speller has died, aged 83.

Mr Speller, who was the Conservative MP for North Devon from 1979-92, passed away on Friday at an Exeter nursing home following a long illness.

Born on June 12,1929 in Exeter, Mr Speller attended Exeter School. Before entering Parliament he ran a chain of printing and copy shops in the South West with his business partner.

He was also a member of Exeter City Council and challenged for the North Devon seat at the 1974 general election, losing to Liberal Democrat Jeremy Thorpe.

He was re-adopted as the Conservative candidate and successfully defeated Mr Thorpe in 1979, serving until he lost to Nick Harvey in 1992.

“Tony was most proud of being north Devon’s champion and cheer leader in Westminster, Whitehall and the wider world,” said Alec Pickersgill, who was the constituency agent from 1975 to 1990.

“He never lost an opportunity of promoting North Devon as a wonderful place to live, work and do business, all of which he did with tremendous energy and enthusiasm. He maintained this interest throughout his very happy retirement.”

Mr Speller lived in Newton-St-Cyres with his wife Maureen. The couple had five children and 12 grand children.

In a statement, North Devon Conservative Association said it was ‘much saddened’ to hear of his death: “Tony was a wonderful champion for all his constituents in North Devon; one of his crowning legacies was securing the construction of the long awaited North Devon Link Road. He had a great many friends in the association and will be sorely missed. All members of the association send much sympathy to Tony’s family in these sad times.”

His funeral will take place at the Church of the Sacred Heart in South Street, Exeter, on Monday, March 4 at 10am.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Coopers Jewellery in Barnstaple High Street

Man will appear before magistrates this morning in connection with Barnstaple incident

Read more
LÉ James Joyce speeds away from Appledore. Picture: Sarah Howells

Gazette reporter Sarah Howells joined the pilot boat on the River Torridge to wave LÉ James Joyce on her way to Ireland this morning (Thursday).

Read more
How the Brunswick Wharf development could look.

Development in Bideford is unanimously approved by councillors after new marina report was submitted.

Read more
16:29
The puma kittens make their first public appearance. Picture: John Hammond

Cute cats make an early first appearance to enjoy the summer sunshine

Read more
08:00
An appeal has been launched to repair the roof at South Molton's St Mary Magdalene Church. Picture: Submitted

Church council launches fundraising appeal and calls for ‘hearts and minds’ to save church.

Read more

Two men from Combe Martin will appear at North Devon Magistrates’ Court over New Year’s Day assault.

Read more
07:00
Picture: Dave Webb

Otter numbers are rising but vehicles remained the animals’ biggest threat, say conservationists.

Read more
Brunswick Wharf in Bideford.

‘Technical anomolies’ in report means Brunswick Wharf application for Bideford remains undecided as it heads to plans committee again today (Thursday).

Read more
Yesterday, 14:21
Former classmates of Barnstaple Girls' Grammar School got together for a joint 70th birthday reunion in Barnstaple on Saturday. Picture: Andy Keeble

Former pupils from all over the world back in town after half a century to share memories of school days – including brown knickers!

Read more
Yesterday, 13:38
How the extension to Atlantic Village is proposed to look.

Bideford shopping centre has applied for extension of time for plans to almost double in size.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 11°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition today E-edition



North Devon's trusted business finder