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Maverick Tory Maude dies at 81

LORD MAUDE of Stratford- upon-Avon, a maverick Conservative who rebelled against three generations of party leadership, died last night aged 81.

Angus Maude began his outspoken political career by winning the South Ealing seat for the Tories in 1950 and became director of the Conservative Political Centre in 1951. In 1956 he opposed party policy on Suez, resigned his seat and retained it in 1957 as an Independent Conservative.

In 1958 he left politics to edit the Sydney Morning Herald. Returning in 1962 he unsuccessfully contested South Dorset for the Tories then, a year later, fought and won a second by-election, in Stratford-upon-Avon, a seat he was to hold for 20 years. By 1964, with the Tories in opposition, he was claiming that his own party, now led by Edward Heath, had 'completely lost effective political initiative'.

He resigned from the front bench, but after Margaret Thatcher became leader he returned to favour, holding the post of deputy party chairman from 1975 to 1979, and helping run the 1979 campaign. He became Paymaster- General but in 1981 resigned in a reshuffle.

Educated at Rugby School and Oriel College, Oxford, he worked first as a financial writer for the Times and then for the Daily Mail.

During the war he served in the Army at home and in North Africa, spending more than three years as a prisoner of war.