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Bury St Edmunds: ‘Huge political figure’ Sir Eldon Griffiths has died

PUBLISHED: 13:31 03 June 2014 | UPDATED: 17:14 03 June 2014

Sir Eldon Griffiths pictured at his wedding last year in Bury St Edmunds

Sir Eldon Griffiths pictured at his wedding last year in Bury St Edmunds

Archant

Former MP Sir Eldon Griffiths, who became one of Britain’s oldest bridegrooms when he married last year at the age of 88, has died.

Tributes have been paid to Sir Eldon, who passed away this morning.

His son, leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, John Griffiths said: “A very bright light flickered and then went out earlier this morning. Not just for me and the rest of my family but for so many others whose lives my father touched.”

Sir Eldon began his career as a journalist in America and London before becoming Conservative MP for Bury St Edmunds in 1964 – a position he held for 28 years and which earned him a knighthood for political service.

During his political career, he was a junior minister for Environment and Sport in the Edward Heath government and served as parliamentary spokesman for the Police Federation.

Last summer, he married long-standing friend Susan Donnell, now Lady Griffiths.

The couple, who had known each other for more than 50 years, tied the knot in a civil ceremony at Bury register office followed by a reception at the Athenaeum.

On hearing the news of Sir Eldon’s passing, current Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley described him as a “big man and a huge political figure”.

He added: “He was an outstanding and massively popular Conservative Member of Parliament for nearly three decades.

“He is indelibly associated with the great constituency of Bury St Edmunds and his passing will be marked in the House of Commons for sure by the speaker.”

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