David Taylor -2009

David Taylor passed away suddenly on Boxing Day 2009 at the age of 63.

David was born in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, the son of a civil servant and a postal worker, and he was raised in the village of Heather, where he continued to live. He went to Heather primary school, Ashby boys’ grammar and Leicester Polytechnic.

David qualified as a chartered accountant. He worked for Leicestershire county council as an accountant and computer applications manager and was elected to North West Leicestershire district council in 1981 and to Heather parish council in 1987. David was also involved with the local government officers’ union Nalgo (now Unison) for many years and from 1985 to 1997, served as their auditor. In 1992 he was selected for the marginal seat of Leicestershire North West but lost narrowly. But in 1997 David won the seat by 29,332 votes to 18,115, a swing to Labour of 13.8 per cent, one of the highest of the election.

As an MP David never sought publicity for himself. His satisfaction came from worthwhile reforms. He spoke with sensitivity and understanding on the care of the elderly and strains of family life. He inspired campaigns for improved residential care, for the smoking ban and humane treatment of laboratory animals.

David was a champion of many causes. But perhaps the most significant success he will be remembered for is his work to improve the primary care of cancer patients. David was in the forefront of the campaign to make it government policy to have as a priority the early detection of cancer. Using debates in Parliament, lobbying of Ministers and most importantly speaking to people in the NHS about how it could be done he made a key contribution to the government’s development of cancer services.

His unique approach to parliamentary voting has left its legacy. A ‘David Taylor vote’ is the only way of registering a positive abstention. When in doubt, David voted in both the No and the Aye lobbies. His use of language and humour livened the Commons. He certainly liked alliteration, once saying “Is it forever the fate of football fans to be fleeced by flaky foreign financiers?’

He is survived by his wife Pamela, their four daughters and two grandchildren.