Former Conservative MP Karen Lumley has died aged 59. The former elected representative for Redditch, in Worcestershire unseated former Labour home secretary Jacqui Smith in 2010. She stood down due to an illness in 2017.
Tributes have since poured in for Ms Lumley. Her Conservative successor, Rachel Maclean, described her as having "tonnes of compassion" with a "genuine desire to improve people’s lives".
She told the BBC: "As her successor, I can say I’m proud to have followed in the footsteps of such a charismatic and strong woman. She will be much missed by many people."
A mother-of-two, Ms Lumley was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.
Leader of the House of Commons, Penny Mordaunt, paid an emotional tribute, calling the former MP "a force for good". She said: “She was a force for nature and a force for good. We will miss her, her amazing hairdos and the joy she brought us all. We will cherish the memories we have of her.
“The whole House I know will want to send our love to her family, especially [her husband] Richard, (and children) Lizzie and Chris and all who knew and loved her. She meant a lot to all of us.”
Former chancellor and health secretary Sajid Javid, who represents the neighbouring constituency of Bromsgrove, said he was "deeply saddened" by Ms Lumley’s death.
He said: "She was a very dear friend but also a very good colleague and obviously my neighbour in terms of parliamentary constituencies. We did a lot together, our teams spent time together, we spent time together, so it’s very, very sad to hear this news (on Thursday)."