Penny Mordaunt has paid an emotional tribute in the House of Commons following the death of “charismatic” former Redditch MP Karen Lumley.
The mother of two died on Thursday, aged 59, following a long illness, the Redditch Standard reports. She was surrounded by loved ones.
Mrs Lumley was Conservative MP for Redditch from 2010 to 2017 before she stepped down.
She has been remembered as a “charistmatic and strong woman” who was the constituency’s second female MP since the seat was created in 1997.
Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt was unable to hold back tears as she told MPs they had lost a “larger than life character”.
A visibly grief-stricken Ms Mordaunt told MPs: “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.”
Ms Mordaunt said her colleague had sat on the Finance Committee, had been part of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee and the Transport Select Committee, and worked as a parliamentary private secretary in the Department of Health.
Paying tribute to her predecessor, Redditch MP Rachel Maclean issued a statement: “In her time as the Member of Parliament for Redditch, Karen demonstrated tonnes of compassion and a genuine desire to improve people’s lives.
“She will be much missed by many people. My thoughts and prayers are with Karen’s family and friends at this very difficult time.”
MP for Bromsgrove and former Chancellor Sajid Javid said Mrs Lumley was “a fantastic colleague and friend as a neighbouring MP - and truly loved representing her constituents”.
Mrs Lumley unsuccessfully contested the constituency of Redditch before gaining the seat at the 2010 general election, defeating the former Labour Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.