Lord Walker of Worcester, the former MP Peter Walker, has died at the age of 78.

The former Conservative MP for Worcester passed away early this morning at St Richard's Hospice in the city. He had been suffering from cancer.

Peter Walker was MP for Worcester from 1961 to 1992. His son Robin won the seat for the Tories in last month's election.

Lord Walker held a number of Cabinet posts during his parliamentary career. He was Environment Secretary and Trade and Industry Secretary under Edward Heath, and Energy Secretary and Welsh Secretary under Margaret Thatcher.

The founder of the Tory Reform Group, Lord Walker was appointed a life peer after his retirement as an MP in 1992.

Lord Walker was surrounded by his family when he passed away this morning.

Robin Walker has issued the following statement on behalf of his family:

Peter Walker passed away quietly on Wednesday morning after a long struggle with cancer. His whole family were able to be with him in his last days.

He will be hugely missed by his wife Tessa, five children and five grandchildren.

As a politician he always believed in the importance of helping those most in need, combining efficiency with compassion.

He was a true one nation Conservative and a patriot. His great personal compassion was always reflected in his private life.

To the end he was passionate about his work and his family, working diligently and enthusiastically, but always taking the time to support and cherish those closest to him.

For all his great achievements, those who know him best will remember him most for his humour and generosity.

Having dedicated so much of his life to serving Worcester, it was appropriate that he was able to spend his last days here.

As a passionate supporter of the hospice movement, who for many years championed the cause of palliative care in Parliament, he would have been proud of the care that was provided for him at St Richard's Hospice.

The family would like to thank the staff and volunteers at St Richard's and all the friends who have supported us through this difficult time.

Please leave your tributes below.