Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh has spoken of his surprise after receiving a Knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The Conservative MP said he was both delighted and humbled to receive the honour, which he was awarded for three decades of public and political service.
“It’s an honour of course to be recognised by the Queen in this way,” said Sir Edward.
“But even more so it is a recognition of the hard work done by the many people in Lincolnshire who have helped me during my 30 years in Parliament.”
“I am immensely humbled by their loyalty, and by the Queen’s kindness in making me a knight,” he added.
Born in 1950 Sir Edward was first elected to Parliament in 1983 as the MP for the Gainsborough and Horncastle constituency.
In May 1997, he was elected MP for the new seat of Gainsborough, and has enjoyed a growing majority at elections since then.
He has been selected as the Conservative Party candidate to contest the Gainsborough seat in the 2015 General Election.
A former private secretary to Margaret Thatcher, he follows in the footsteps of his father Sir Neville Leigh by receiving a knighthood.
A married father of six, Sir Edward has a reputation for being outspoken on a number of issues including wind farms and badger culling.
He most recently hit the headlines over his opposition to gay marriage.
A celebratory lunch to mark the occasion is being hosted by the Gainsborough Constituency Conservative Association on Friday afternoon.
Stephanie Rouse, chairman of the Gainsborough Constituency Conservative Association, said the association was ‘absolutely delighted’ that Sir Edward has received the honour.
“It is well deserved. He has been, and continues to be, as loyal and as hard working a Member of Parliament for this part of Lincolnshire as he has been for the past thirty years,” she added.
A number of Lincolnshire’s MPs will join association officers past and present, the civic party from West Lindsey District Council and members and supporters who have had their part to play in Sir Edward’s career for the celebration.
For full details of the people who have received titles in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/ birthday-honours-lists-2013