A former MP who was instrumental in the campaign to restore hospital services in Kidderminster has died aged 89. 

Dr Richard Taylor, a retired hospital consultant, stood as an independent candidate for Wyre Forest in the 2001 general election. 

He was elected on the strength of local concern about the future of Kidderminster Hospital which he campaigned to save, particularly the A&E department which was ultimately downgraded. 

After a successful campaign which gained huge community support in the area, Dr Taylor won the Wyre Forest seat from incumbent Labour MP David Lock with an incredible 17,630 majority. 

It was a moment that he had previously described as incredibly "moving". 

Following his election to parliament, he promised to continue to fight for his constituents and said: "They can look forward to being represented honestly and fairly in the House of Commons.

"They will have their needs recognised."

He held onto his seat in the 2005 general election with a smaller majority of 5,250 but lost his seat to the Conservatives in 2010. He later stood in the 2015 general election aged 80. 

Dr Taylor was also the life president of the Independent Community and Health Concern party and went on to co-found The National Health Action Party, which seeks to safeguard the NHS. 

Tributes have flooded in following the news of Dr Taylor's death on Wednesday (June 26) just a few days before his 90th birthday. 

Residents have called the campaigner a "lovely man" who will be a huge loss to the Wyre Forest community.

In a post, Councillor Doug Hine said: "A gentleman and brilliant independent voice for Wyre Forest."

Graham Ballinger, former leader of Independent Community and Health Concern, said: "It's a sad loss to the community of Wyre Forest."

Councillor Leigh Whitehouse added: "My sincere thoughts are with his family, friends and previous colleagues, he will be missed"

Others described him as a "true campaigner" who was "respected by local people for his integrity and honesty". 

The campaigner was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2014 for his services to the community in Worcestershire, especially to Kidderminster Hospital.

At the time of receiving the honour, he said: "I think really the proudest achievement is, after two terms as an MP, that I can still walk around Kidderminster and be greeted like a friend."