Bridlington’s former MP John Townend has died at the age of 84.
A controversial figure, especially when it came to his views on immigration, he served as the town’s MP at Westminster from 1979 to 1997, and when the constituency boundaries changed, he represented East Yorkshire until 2001.
He was also chairman of House of Townend wine merchants.
His successor Sir Greg Knight, said: “John Townend was a successful local businessman who would regularly use his expertise in commerce in Parliament to raise issues of concern to small businesses.
“He was forthright and plain-speaking and was helpful to me when I was selected as his successor.
“I am saddened to learn of his death. My thoughts are with his wife and family at this difficult time.”
Bridlington councillor Richard Harrap said: “As a newly-elected councillor in 1999, I attended a number of surgeries with John Townend and found him helpful and knowledgeable in his dealings with constituents.
“He worked extremely hard for Bridlington.