Former Redditch MP Karen Lumley dies aged 59

Karen Lumley Credit: PA

Some sad news today regarding the death of a former Conservative MP who had been a key contributor to ITV News Central during her seven years serving the Redditch constituency - Karen Lumley has passed away at the age of 59 after a long illness.

She had stepped down from parliament at the 2017 election. 

She leaves behind her husband Richard and children, Lizzie and Chris. 

I reported from her election count in Redditch back in the 2010 election when she defeated the sitting Labour MP Jacqui Smith  - who had become embroiled in the MPs expenses scandal.  

During Karen's time in parliament she had served on various committees and also worked as a parliamentary private secretary in the Department of Health. 

The current Health Secretary Stephen Barclay was one of those former colleagues paying tribute to her today in the Commons. 

And these were the moving words from the Leader of the House Penny Mordaunt MP.

Rachel Maclean, her successor as MP for the Redditch seat in 2017 for the Conservatives has described her as having "a genuine desire to improve people's lives - she will be missed by many people."

And there were some warm words from Karen's Worcestershire MP colleague, Harriett Baldwin.

My personal memory of Karen is of someone who was always positive and keen to reach out to local media. She was approachable, friendly and had a keen sense of humour. 

All those who worked with her in Worcestershire say her loss will be felt vey deeply.