Bob Russell, former House of Commons chair and Tory MP, dies at 87

Prime Minister Theresa May left a condolence message at the wooden cross, where she had watched over the weekend and has since left to return to London. “Very much looking forward to farewell to…

Bob Russell, former House of Commons chair and Tory MP, dies at 87

Prime Minister Theresa May left a condolence message at the wooden cross, where she had watched over the weekend and has since left to return to London.

“Very much looking forward to farewell to my friend and colleague, Sir Bob Russell,” May wrote on Twitter. “We have shared many successes at Westminster over the years, most recently my reshuffle and green agenda. RIP my friend.”

Russell was a lawmaker for 48 years. He served in the House of Commons since being elected in 1966 and served as the chairman of the House of Commons Private Finance Board.

He also served on several other committees. In 1991, he co-founded the Clean Water and Wastewater Forum as a successor organization to the World Waste Forum.

He is survived by his wife, Janet, and three children.

“Regret to hear of the passing of Sir Bob Russell, who served at Westminster with honour and distinction for 48 years,” said Greg Mulholland, who chairs the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, in a statement. “Bob was one of the few peers who sat in the Commons chamber who really understood how the system worked — and our Parliament must do all it can to honour his memory.”

In a statement, May said that Russell was not only a “model parliamentarian,” but a “great supporter of our proud culture and institutions.”

“Sir Bob was a stalwart of his party for over 40 years and he served with distinction on many committees. He will be much missed by all of us,” she said.

Russell’s death is the first in the House of Commons chamber in the postwar period.

His body has been brought into the chamber for a three-day ceremony, which is designed to honor prominent legislators, which has passed quietly.

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