Brian Mawhinney, former Cabinet minister and Football League chairman, has died aged 79 after a long illness, his family said.
Lord Mawhinney, who served as Tory Party chairman from 1995 to 1997 under Sir John Major’s government, died on Saturday evening.
In a statement his family said: “His death brings an end to a life dedicated to public service and rooted in an unwavering Christian faith.
“He was a much loved husband, father and grandfather and a friend to many.
“He will be much missed.”
He was elected MP for Peterborough in 1979 and later represented North West Cambridgeshire, retiring in 2005, and was a member of the Cabinet from 1994 until 1997.
During that time he served as minister of state for the Department of Health and secretary of state for Transport.
He was knighted in 1997 and created a life peer in 2005.
Lord Mawhinney also served as Football League chairman for seven years from 2003.
During his time at the helm of the sporting body, he introduced the fit and proper persons test for prospective club directors and the publication of club spending on agents’ fees.