'True Friend to the Welsh' Peter Walker Dies Aged 78
TRIBUTES were paid last night to former Welsh Secretary Lord Walker, who died after a long struggle with cancer. He was 78.
As Peter Walker he served as Energy Secretary during the miners' strike, and as Secretary of State for Wales between 1987 and 1990.
Known as a Conservative moderate and critic of Margaret Thatcher, he outwitted several plots to remove him from the Cabinet - the offer of the supposedly minor Wales job in 1987 failing to prompt his expected resignation.
The MP for Worcester until 1992, Lord Walker lived to see his son, Robin, elected as MP for City of Worcester at this year's General Election.
Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan said: "He was a distinguished member of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. As Secretary of State for Wales between 1987 and 1990 Lord Walker worked tirelessly for Wales and was a true friend to the Welsh people."
PeterWalker Nick Bourne, the leader of the Conservative group in the Assembly, said: " "Peter Walker was a dedicated public servant and had a distinguished career serving at the highest levels of government. Only recently he was campaigning in Wales during the General Election.
"Peter Walker's time as Welsh Secretary will be remembered for his dynamism, activism, and hands-on approach, and for his efforts to fight for Wales in Cabinet, and at home at abroad." Walker ran Edward Heath's campaign for the leadership of the Conservative Party in 1965, enough to earn him the lifelong suspicion of Mrs Thatcher, Heath's great rival.
Nevertheless he served in each of Thatcher's Cabinets, only stepping down shortly before she herself was forced out of office. …