Teresa Gorman, the former Conservative MP for Billericay from 1987 until 2001, has died at the age of 83.
Gorman first stood for Parliament for the seat of Streatham in the October 1974 General Election. She was unsuccessful but became a Conservative councillor for Westminster City Council from 1982 until 1986. She was then selected for the constituency of Billericay which she won in 1987 with a majority of 17,986.
Gorman was suspended from the Conservative Party in 1994 for failing to support the Government. In his auto-biography John Major wrote of Teresa Gorman:
“Warm, volatile, sharp-witted and attention seeking, Teresa was unusual among the Euro-sceptics for not taking herself entirely seriously. She would have liked to have been a minister, and was open about it – but she was too much of a maverick”.
“The trouble was that, like many sceptics, she did not realise that the public was less concerned about Europe than she was, and that the constant impression of division damaged us hugely”.
Gorman retained the constituency until she retired in 2001 although she won by just 1,356 votes in 1997 after her share of the vote by 17.9%. In recent years she defected to UKIP and supported them at the 2015 General Election.