FORMER Billericay MP Teresa Gorman has died aged 83, her family has confirmed.

Ms Gorman trained as a teacher before being elected as a Tory in the town in 1987, a seat she held until 2001.

She was a prominent figure in the rebellions over Europe that nearly brought down John Major's government - having the Conservative whip withdrawn for refusing to back the EC finance bill in 1994.

Former Southend MP Sir Teddy Taylor said: "She was one of the 'old school' who was more concerned with what was right and wrong, rather than party politics.

"She was a good, sincere person who worked hard. It is very sad news."

In recent years she shifted her allegiance to Ukip, and voted for the party at the general election in May.