Lord Roper, former Liberal Democrat Peer and MP, has died at the age of 80

Lord Roper, a former Labour and SDP MP and later Liberal Democrat Peer, has died at the age of 80.

John Roper was born in 1935 and was educated at Reading School and Oxford University before working as a lecturer at the University of Manchester from 1962 until 1970. During this time he contested, unsuccessfully, the constituency of High Peak for the Labour Party.

In 1970 Roper was elected as the Labour MP for Farnworth, which he held until the 1983 General Election. He made his maiden speech on 13 November 1970 and served as the Labour spokesman on defence from 1979 until 1981.

Roper defected to the SDP in 1981 after disagreements with his own party leadership and he contested the seat of Worsley in 1983, where he came third. From 1983 until 1989 he served as the chairman of the Council on Christian Approaches to Defence & Disarmament.

He was elevated to the Peerage as a Liberal Democrat in 2000 and shortly after he became the party’s Chief Whip in the Lords. From November 2010 until May 2015 he became the Deputy Speaker in the House of Lords and he then retired from the House.

Lord Roper died at the age of 80 on 29 January 2016.