Brian Binley: A Tribute
Although we had moved in similar circles for some time, the first time I met Brian beyond being at the same functions was in the run up to the 2017 General Election, and it was after the election that we really got to know each other and with it, a strong political, personal and lasting bond developed. The Brian I knew was intelligent, sharp minded and very witty. You always came away from a lunch or a dinner with Brian much jollier and contented than when you arrived. Having known of the challenges and pressures of being an MP I always felt that he ‘had my back’.
He had also a rich and varied career starting first as a shoe factory operative at 15 years old and ending up as the MP for Northampton South until his retirement. He joined the Conservative Party in 1958 and by 1965 he became an Organiser for the National Young Conservatives. Brian then went on to become a Conservative Party Agent fighting various 1970s General Election campaigns in the West Midlands. He came back to Northamptonshire, set up and built a very successful Market Services Company employing over 160 people. Politics was never too far away and was elected to the County Council in 1997 where he became the Cabinet Member for Finance.
Brian had a restless spirit and in 2005 he successfully fought for the Northampton South seat against Labour incumbent Tony Clarke with a 4000 majority at the age of 63. He remained an MP until illness forced him into retirement in 2015. Brian also held Labour’s Tony Clarke and the then Northampton North Labour MP Sally Keeble in very high regard. He respected them as both opponents and fellow public servants.
Even in illness, his humour and joie de vivre was infectious. He was aspirational, inspirational and he loved life. He leaves behind two sons, James and Matt. Northamptonshire is a poorer place without him.
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