Sir Patrick Cormack has been a fixture at Westminster for more than three decades, and is often to be seen on the Commons benches even in sparsely attended debates.
However, he has also upset some Conservative colleagues by publicly praising Tony Blair, in particular over his response to the September 11 attacks.The Birmingham Post has today revealed how Sir Patrick faces the sack after local party activists apparently decided he was too old.
The former history teacher, who grew up in Grimsby, was first elected to Parliament in 1970 as MP for Cannock. In 1974 he became MP for South West Staffordshire, later re-named Staffordshire South. He is a moderate, and was one of the first to warn fellow Tories that their party had drifted too far to the right after 1997.
Sir Patrick, aged 67, is also enthusiastic about the European Union, which places him out of step with the newer intake of Tory MPs.
However, he is an old-fashioned One Nation Tory rather than a member of David Cameron's trendy Notting Hill set, and does not share their enthusiasm for issues such as gay rights.
At the last General Election, his polling day was delayed for seven weeks because of the death of his Liberal Democrat opponent during the campaign.
Nevertheless, he increased both his share of the vote and his majority, and achieved the largest swing of the whole General Election. His current majority, which represents 52.05 per cent of the vote, is 8,847.
Throughout his long career he has sat on the front bench for only three years, as Shadow Deputy Leader of the House and Constitutional Affairs Spokesman, from 1997-2000.
He quit the post so he could stand for the position of Speaker of the Commons, the person charged with keeping order during debates. He was defeated by Michael Martin, the current speaker, in a ballot of MPs.
The lack of a front-bench role has not kept him idle. He has served on a range of Commons committees and all-party groups including the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, and currently chairs the Northern Ireland committee.
From 1995 to 2005 he served on the General Synod of the Church of England as an elected member, and strongly opposed the ordination of women.
He can also be an outspoken backbencher, as Margaret Thatcher discovered when she introduced the poll tax.
Sir Patrick rebelled against the tax in a number of Commons votes and described it as "fundamentally unfair".
During the early 1990s he campaigned to draw attention to what he called the "horror" in Bosnia, accusing the Serbs of killing 200,000 in what "amounts to genocide".
In 1993 he said he was "ashamed" by the failure of the Government, then led by John Major, to act.
On a lighter note, he also became a critic of the sitcom Men Behaving Badly, deploring "the destruction of childish innocence" on television.
Following the defeat of the Conservatives in the 1997 general election he supported Kenneth Clarke for the party leadership – and did the same again in 2001.
Sir Patrick also emerged as one of the most vocal opponents of a ban on hunting, describing it as "totally unacceptable".
More recently, he has joined forces with high-profile figures such as Baroness Boothroyd, the former MP for West Bromwich West to oppose plans for elections to the House of Lords.
Campaigners argue an elected second chamber would undermine the House of Commons and make the Government less accountable.
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