Obituary: Sir Michael Latham (B2 1956-60)

Sir Michael Latham (B2 1956-60), has died aged 74, He was the Conservative MP for Melton (which later expanded to include Rutland) for 18 years.

After leaving Marlborough College in 1960, he went to King’s College, Cambridge, where he gained a First in History in 1964. He then earned a Certificate in Education at Oxford. He was elected as the Conservative MP in 1974 and served 18 years. His great life focus was on house building and construction, having already been the parliamentary liaison officer for the National Federation of Building Trades Employers before he became an MP. On his retirement, he continued to provide a service to Government writing the report Constructing The Team, identifying obstacles to growth in procurement and contractual arrangement, resulting in the set up of the Construction Industry Board, which he chaired himself.

He also worked closely with the Church of England. He served on their international committee, the general assembly of the British Council of Churches and became a lay reader in 1998.

He met his wife Caroline at a meeting of Chelsea Young Conservatives and they were married in 1969. They had two sons, Richard and James, and two grandchildren. He was knighted in 1993, and appointed Deputy Lieutenant for Leicestershire the following year. He spent his final years in a residential home after developing dementia.

The Rt Hon Sir Alan Duncan, MP for Rutland and Melton and Sir Michael’s successor wrote the following tribute;

“Michael was enormously respected as the MP for Melton, and then Rutland & Melton following boundary changes. He served his constituents for 18 years and always fought hard for them.

He and his late wife Caroline were always enormously approachable and solved people’s problems very diligently.

Michael was a great expert on housing and was a really thoughtful influence on government policy.

He was one of those capable people who deserved to be a Minister but sadly never was. He has left behind him a great personal reputation”.

He was a much loved president of the Marlburian Club in 2004-5 and will be sorely missed.

You can see full obituaries in The Telegraph and the Melton Times.