Rex Toft R.I.P.

I seem to be writing far too many obits on this blog this year.

Rex Toft, a former Conservative parliamentary candidate for Copeland has died, and there will be a memorial service for him at St Mary's Gosforth at 1pm on Thursday.

During his long political career Rex came within two thousand votes of unseating Jack Cunningham in the eighties, became county councillor for Gosforth Ennerdale, Leader of the Conservative group on the County Council, and eventually leader of Cumbria County Council.

I first met Rex in 2004 on the evening when I was first selected to fight the seat, and he game me some very useful advice both about elections in Cumbria and about certain long journeys which both he and I reguarly had to make at that time.

He was a good guy and will be missed.


Jane said…
I agree with you Chris there have been rather too many funerals this year. I have attended too many and seen my husband put a lot more than usual through the St. George's Millom Church accounts in general.

Having said that the Memorial Service for Rex Toft was one of the most moving, beautiful and spiritually uplifting funeral that I have attended. A true celebration of the life of a wonderful man who was well loved and respected as a family man, a friend, a Conservative Party colleague, a County Councillor and in his profession as a solicitor. Rex Toft was a man of immense integrity, loyalty and ability. He had the diplomatic skills and the humour to achieve a huge amount in difficult circumstances, for example getting money to help farmers with the foot and mouth crisis. He commands the respect not only from his own party but also a broad spectrum of the other parties represented at County level.

To me, as an aspiring councillor, he will remain in my memory as a father figure whose integrity and intellectual ability I wish to emulate.

My deepest sympathy is with Rex's wife and family. May Rex Toft rest in peace.
Chris Whiteside said…
I agree - and particularly, as you say, it was a very moving service.

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