British Politicians Pay Tribute to Late Former Minister Cecil Parkinson

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Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, center, with Cecil Parkinson, second from the right, in 1998. Parkinson has died, aged 84. Reuters Photographer

Cecil Parkinson, a former British cabinet minister in Margaret Thatcher's government, has died aged 84 after a battle with cancer.

As chairman of the Conservative party, which governs the U.K. again today, he played a central role in masterminding its 1983 general election victory. Charming and handsome, he was a favorite of Thatcher's but had to resign from his later job as Trade and Industry Secretary when it emerged he had fathered a child with his ex-secretary Sara Keays.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron described Parkinson as "a man of huge ability," and said he had learned a lot from the former minister at the start of his own political career.

Figures from British politics on Monday shared memories of Parkinson and thoughts on his death:

David Cameron, U.K. prime minister:

Malcolm Rifkind, former foreign secretary and fellow Thatcher cabinet member:

Rifkind told BBC News that Parkinson was "the most natural candidate" to succeed Margaret Thatcher as prime minister before his resignation. "John Major eventually filled the gap that Cecil Parkinson would have had," he said. "But Cecil Parkinson was in reality a Thatcherite while John Major, as Margaret Thatcher eventually discovered, was not nearly as close to her, as she had hoped and assumed."

Tom Newton Dunn, political editor of The Sun newspaper:

Many Twitter users are sharing this piece, which details an injunction Parkinson took out to prevent information emerging about his daughter with Keays:

British Chancellor George Osborne:

Conservative peer and journalist Daniel Finkelstein:

British Politicians Pay Tribute to Late Former Minister Cecil Parkinson | World