Former Chancellor Lord Geoffrey Howe has died after suffering a suspected heart attack, his family has announced. A statement issued by his family said: "It is with deep sadness that the Howe family today announced that Geoffrey Howe died suddenly late yesterday evening [Friday 9 October], aged 88, at his home in Warwickshire, of a suspected heart attack, after enjoying a local jazz concert with his wife Elspeth.
"There will be a private family funeral, followed by a memorial service in due course. The family would be grateful for privacy at this time."
The Conservative politician, served as chancellor for four years under Margaret Thatcher. However, his resignation speech in 1990 is widely seen as a central factor in Lady Thatcher's downfall as prime minister. At the time the Thatcher former PM said Howe had become a "source of division and a focus of resentment".
Lord Howe was Margaret Thatcher's longest-serving Cabinet minister and held the posts of Chancellor of the Exchequer, Foreign Secretary, and finally Leader of the House of Commons, Deputy Prime Minister and Lord President of the Council.
David Cameron led tributes to Lord Howe, saying: "The Conservative family has lost one of its greats." The prime minister described him as "the quiet hero of the first Thatcher government". "George Osborne and I benefited greatly from his wisdom and determination to improve the state of the country," he added.
Howe is remembered for his devastating resignation speech in which he summed up Thatcher's style of leadership: "It is rather like sending your opening batsmen to the crease, only for them to find that their bats have been broken before the game by the team captain."