Mr Key’s retirement statement is here:
…and there are letters to Penny Brown (the Chairman of Salisbury Conservative Association) and David Cameron here:
I’ve collected a few reactions from other blogs.
The Conservative blogger, Iain Dale says that:
I spent a few months working as Robert’s researcher back in 1986 and he has been a great servant to the Party over the years.
He was a junior minister in the Major government and has been a superb constituency MP, as Tim Montgomerie rightly points out [below].
Robert is my own MP, here in Salisbury. He has a terrific reputation as a very hard-working constituency MP. He’ll be a hard act to follow.
Robert Key is a well-respected and effective MP for Salisbury and his retirement will in many ways leave a hole where a very substantial MP previously sat.
The wide variety of other roles Robert has held during his Parliamentary career illustrates well the contribution he has made to our democracy and to the Conservative Party. As a Minister at the Departments of Environment; National Heritage; and Transport, Robert played a significant part in the last Conservative Government. And in Opposition, through holding a number of posts, including Opposition Spokesman for Science, Robert has been able to hold the Government to account in a number of important areas.
Robert will be greatly missed both within the House of Commons and by his constituents. We will be losing a great friend to the Party and to Parliament.
Finally, Nick Radford the Liberal Prospective Parliamentiary Candidate (from whose Twitter feed I heard the news) released this statement:
Although our opinions differed, he was always willing to listen to another point of view. In all my dealings with him I found him a gracious, affable character who always worked hard for his constituents and spoke passionately on topics that he believed in.
It’s never fair to be forced to stand down on health grounds and I want to wish him all the very best for his health and I hope he enjoys his retirement.
For what it’s worth(), I’d whole-heartedly agree with the main points of Mr Radford’s statement. I met Robert Key a few times in the early-ish eighties – the words ‘gracious’ and ‘affable’ are very apt.
- I should probably point out I’m not a Conservative – I’m blue only in football! [↩]