Nicholas Scott, scandal-prone MP, dies at 71

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Indy Politics

Sir Nicholas Scott, the former Conservative minister who enjoyed a political career as prolific as it was controversial, died yesterday. He was aged 71.

Sir Nicholas, who held a string of ministerial positions and the seat for Kensington and Chelsea, died at a London hospice following a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's.

As minister for Northern Ireland and minister for the disabled, Sir Nicholas enjoyed a distinguished career in the upper echelons of the Tory Party.

However, as his career progressed, Sir Nicholas became increasingly implicated in scandal and controversy. On one occasion, the politician was found slumped in the street by police during the Tory Party conference in Bournemouth before he was escorted to his hotel.

On another occasion, Sir Nicholas admitted he misled MPs over wrecking tactics to kill the Disability Bill in 1994. His admission led to a public row with his daughter Victoria, a lobbyist for disabled rights.

The following year, he was involved in a car crash. There were claims that his car hit a Volvo causing a minor pile-up during which Thibault Perreard, a three-year-old Swiss, was trapped in his pushchair.

Scandal ensued when claims emerged that the politician had left passersby to free the toddler while his female companion was said to have declared: "The child's not dead and they're not even English."

Sir Nicholas, a Justice of the Peace who enjoyed cricket, tennis, golf and flying, was married to Cecilia Tapsell with whom he had a son and a daughter. A memorial service will be held in London next month.