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Liberal Democrat Lord Roper dies aged 80

Lord Roper during his time as chief whip in the Lords Credit: PA Images

Liberal Democrat Lord Roper has died aged 80 following a long battle with illness, the party announced.

The peer, who retired from the House of Lords in May 2015, was MP for Farnworth, Lancashire from 1970 to 1983 - representing Labour and then the breakaway SDP.

He was the Lib Dem chief whip in the Lords from 2001 to 2005, the first director of the Institute for Security Studies of Western European Union in Paris and held a senior staff role at the Royal Institute of International Affairs - Chatham House.

"John was, throughout his life, a great servant to social democracy and liberal politics in Britain.

"He was a passionate believer in the European project. He always fought for the idea that Britain's best interest was working together with our friends across Europe to build a better future for us all."

– Dick Newby, who succeeded Lord Roper as the Liberal Democrat's chief whip in the Lords

Cameron pledges floods cash

David Cameron has pledged two million pounds to repair flood hit areas across the region. And a further one million pounds for an advertising campaign to boost tourism.

Today's announcement came as the prime minister visited parts of Cumbria and Lancashire hit by last month's record rainfall. He insists the government is doing all it can to help residents and businesses. But critics say the response is woefully inadequate.

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