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

16:24
The five Peoples' Postcode lottery winners Mike Cooper-Yeoman, Julie Baron, Maurice Dayman, Brenda Budden and Tom Stevens. Picture: Malcolm Rouse.

Families in the same street looking forward to Christmas after winning the Peoples’ Postcode Lottery

Read more
Hundreds lined Pilton's high street to say their final goodbyes to Green Man festival organiser Hamish Patrick

Hundreds of people lined Pilton Street today (Monday) to pay tribute to Green Man Festival organiser Hamish Patrick, who died earlier this month.

Read more
12:18

Man transferred to Derriford following collision with Ford Focus.

Read more
11:51
Jeremy Thorpe's trademark trilby hat on the coffin as it leaves the church. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

‘Wit, zeal and sheer panache’ is how former North Devon MP Nick Harvey described his former mentor Jeremy Thorpe at his funeral on Wednesday.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 11°C

Most Read News

Family notices
Subscriptions
Reader travel
Advertise
Photo Orders
Competitions
Facebook
Twitter
North Devon Football League
North Devon Gazette E-edition

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition today E-edition
North Devon�s trusted business finder