Watson Reacts To Flaherty’s Passing

BlackburnNews.com file photo, Essex MP Jeff Watson addressing County Council in February 2014.

Shock and sorrow meet news of the death of former Conservative finance minister Jim Flaherty.

Essex MP Jeff Watson, a fellow Conservative, was in the House of Commons when the news broke. “We were preparing for question period,” he says. “News began to break among colleagues scanning their iPads for news.”

“Many who’ve seen Jim Flaherty, even in the last couple of days or so, he seemed to be doing extremely well, full of life, laughter,” says Watson. “He was just a large personality and played a large role in particular seeing the country through the worst economic crisis since long before I was born. You know, that’s not something easily replaced.”

Flaherty resigned his cabinet post last month but insisted at the time his decision had nothing to do with a rare skin condition. He was 64.