Boris Johnson has paid tribute to former Conservative MP Peter Ainsworth who has died aged 64.
Mr Ainsworth was MP for East Surrey from 1992 to 2010 and served in the shadow cabinet.
Mr Johnson said he was “a delightful colleague and passionate about his causes especially the environment”.
The PM also recalled sharing a corridor with him in Parliament and said the pair often found themselves “charging late” for votes.
“He has been taken far too young,” Mr Johnson added and said his thoughts were with Mr Ainsworth’s widow Claire and his family.
During his time in the House of Commons, Mr Ainsworth held a series of senior frontbench roles, including shadow culture secretary and shadow environment secretary.
Former Prime Minister David Cameron described him as “a key driver of our modernising agenda in opposition, particularly our environmental policy”.
“It was an honour to have him in my shadow cabinet – he was also such a kind, generous and thoroughly decent man and will be greatly missed,” added the former PM.
Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said Mr Ainsworth was “without doubt a genuinely lovely guy, who was well-liked across the House”.
‘Like so many people we enjoy being around, he was taken too soon. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
Mr Ainsworth went on to be chairman of the Big Lottery Fund, which distributes cash to good causes, after leaving politics.
He also served as chairman of trustees at the Churches Conservation Trust and the Heritage Alliance.
Both organisations said Mr Ainsworth had been “a passionate advocate for heritage” who would be “greatly missed”.