Shock as city mayor dies after col­lapse on scuba-div­ing trip

Daily Express - - News - By Frances Mil­lar

THE Mayor of Cam­bridge has died sud­denly while on a scuba-div­ing hol­i­day with his wife in South Africa.

Nigel Gawthrope, 61, col­lapsed on Fri­day after sur­fac­ing from a dive and feel­ing un­well. The ex­act cause of his death is un­known.

The keen scuba diver and un­der­wa­ter pho­tog­ra­pher was with his wife Jenny at a div­ing re­sort in Dur­ban.

Mr Gawthrope, who was de­scribed as a pop­u­lar lo­cal fig­ure, had been in of­fice as mayor for eight months.

He was first elected as a Labour coun­cil­lor in 2012 to rep­re­sent King’s Hedges ward. Among the first to pay trib­ute was Labour coun­cil leader Lewis Her­bert who said he had served “with dis­tinc­tion and panache”.

He added: “Our thoughts and emo­tions are with his wife Jenny so far away, and with Nigel’s fam­ily and close friends at this truly hor­ri­ble time.

“Nigel was a one-off. He will be hugely missed and long re­mem­bered on the coun­cil, but even more so by his Labour col­leagues as a friend.”

Labour MP for Cam­bridge, Daniel Ze­ich­ner, wrote on Twit­ter: “So sad to hear the shock­ing news about my good friend and com­rade Nigel Gawthrope. Cam­bridge robbed of the re­main­der of his may­oralty and we’ve all lost a true man of the peo­ple.”

East of Eng­land MEP Alex Mayer said Mr Gawthrope had been a “com­mit­ted ward coun­cil­lor... who al­ways greeted you with a smile”. Labour coun­cil­lor Kevin Price said he and Mr Gawthrope “shared a his­tory of trades union ac­tivism within the print­ing in­dus­try. He loved rep­re­sent­ing the ward where he grew up and many res­i­dents will share our deep shock and sad­ness at his un­timely death”.

Cam­bridge City Coun­cil said: “Our thoughts are with Jenny, his fam­ily, friends and close coun­cil col­leagues as they come to terms with this dev­as­tat­ing loss.” Mr Gawthrope worked at Cam­bridge Univer­sity Press, Judge Busi­ness School and lat­terly as a porter at Clare Col­lege, Cam­bridge. He was also a char­ity fundraiser.

FoodCy­cle Cam­bridge said: “He and the May­oress joined us in the kitchen with so much en­thu­si­asm last year, and we re­ally val­ued their sup­port.”

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