PM's tribute to Ken Clarke's wife


David Cameron has led tributes to veteran Tory MP Kenneth Clarke's wife Gillian following her death at the age of 74.

The Prime Minister said she had been Mr Clarke's "rock" through his long political career.

Mr Cameron and his wife Samantha sent their condolences to the long-serving former cabinet minister.

Former chancellor Mr Clarke, 75, met his future wife while they were students at Cambridge and the couple married in 1964.

She died on Thursday night after battling cancer.

The Prime Minister said: "Samantha joins me in sending our heartfelt condolences to Ken and his family on hearing this incredibly sad news.

"I know that Gillian was Ken's rock, supporting him through his many years of frontline politics.

"They were always there for each other through thick and thin, so it is with enormous sadness that we think of Ken and his family today. We're holding them all in our thoughts and prayers."

Fellow Tory MPs described Mrs Clarke as "brilliant" and "wonderful".

Tory MP Robert Jenrick, who represents Newark, said: "All our thoughts in Nottinghamshire are with Ken Clarke and his family following the death of the brilliant and much-loved Gillian."

Solicitor General Robert Buckland said: "Very sad to hear about the death of the wonderful Gillian Clarke - my thoughts are with Ken and his family."