23/06/2012 11:03 BST | Updated 24/06/2012 10:34 BST

Former Tory MP Ken Hargreaves Dies Aged 73

Former Tory MP Ken Hargreaves died today aged 73.

Mr Hargreaves, who represented Hyndburn from 1983 to 1992, was a prominent Catholic and anti-abortion campaigner.

He had suffered a long illness and was being cared for at East Lancashire Hospice.

Fellow Conservative ex-MP Ann Widdecombe said: "Ken will be remembered with huge affection by friends and colleagues.

"He was a tireless campaigner for God and the unborn. No constituent was ever neglected no matter how trivial the problem. The trumpets will have sounded loudly on the other side."

Catholic peer Lord Alton of Liverpool, who served on the Parliamentary Pro-life Group with Mr Hargreaves, said: "Ken was one of those understated men, rare in politics, who had little time for vanity or ego but gave himself quietly to his causes.

"He never faltered in his deep conviction that every life is precious, from conception until natural death; stood foursquare with the downtrodden; and combined patriotism and a love of his Lancashire roots - most notably Hyndburn, Accrington and Oswaldtwistle - with a deep and simple Catholic faith."

Earlier this month Mr Hargreaves' service to the Catholic Church was recognised by the Pope with a Knighthood of St Gregory.