Sir Robert Atkins has been elected as Conservative North West Regional Chairman.
The veteran politician, who lives in Garstang, was the MP for Preston North from 1979 to 1983, and then for South Ribble from 1983 to 1997, when he was a minister in various departments, including Northern Ireland and the environment and countryside.
More recently, Sir Robert was a North West MEP from 1999 to 2014 where he had numerous responsibilities and served on a range of committees, including the Foreign Affairs Committee.
He was deputy leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament until November 2007 and was chief whip there from November 2008 to November 2009.
Commenting on his victory he said: “I am delighted to have been elected to this prestigious post. It allows me to give something back to all those Conservative activists who have supported me throughout my 40 years of Parliamentary service.”
He has been congratulated by party members, including Preston Coun Damien Moore, who is also the Chairman of Lancashire Conservatives.
He said: “Sir Robert will be real asset to the region and particularly Lancashire. He has a wealth of experience that he can share to ensure that the Party is successful in the years ahead.
“With the referendum on Britain’s future with the EU due by 2017 it is clear that Sir Robert’s experience will undoubtedly make the debate all the more informed, and give people a real opportunity to make a fact based decision.”
Sir Robert’s wife Lady Dulcie Atkins is a Conservative councillor for Garstang on Wyre Borough Council.
And the couple’s daughter Victoria Atkins was elected at the 2015 general election as the Conservative MP for Louth and Horncastle.