Tributes to MEP Philip Bradbourn, who has died aged 63

05-Jan-2015 @ 14:0

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One of Britain's longest-serving MEPs has died after a battle with cancer.

Philip Bradbourn, 63, had served as Conservative MEP for the West Midlands since 1999.

He was proud to have been born and bred in the Black Country and was a zealous champion of his region.

Mr Bradbourn was known by colleagues as a deeply principled man who stuck to firmly-held beliefs throughout his career. He held that the EU could be a force for good, but as a member of the Parliament's Budgetary Control committee he was one of the fiercest critics of mis-spending, complacency and fraud.

It was only a few weeks after he celebrated his fourth successful European election campaign in May that he was diagnosed with bowel cancer.

Born in Tipton in 1951, Philip Bradbourn was educated at Tipton Grammar School and then at Wulfrun College, Wolverhampton, and Worcester College where he obtained a post-graduate Diploma in Municipal Administration in 1972.

He was involved in local and regional politics  and public service from a young age, joining the Young Conservatives as a teenager.

He was a town planning officer in local government for more than 20 years before becoming political adviser to the Conservative Group on The City of Wolverhampton Council.

For two years until his election to the European Parliament he was chairman of the West Midlands regional Conservative Party.

He was awarded the OBE in 1994 for public and political service.

Following Mr Bradbourn's death, Ashley Fox, leader of Britain's Conservative MEPs, said: "Phil Bradbourn was a one-off...a much loved character who could always be relied on for a robust intervention and a succinct summary of a political point. His no-nonsense approach to politics made him a powerful voice for the West Midlands as well as a resolute defender of the British taxpayer's interests in Brussels and Strasbourg."

Mr Bradbourn's West Midlands colleague Anthea McIntyre MEP said: "I am deeply saddened at the death of my friend and colleague. I have known Phil for nearly forty years, from our days as Young Conservative activists in the West Midlands, through to recently working together as MEPs.

"He has been a real champion of our region and its people in the European Parliament, and well respected across the political spectrum. He will be greatly missed."

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