Tributes after sudden death of Lancaster city councillor, 32

A talented young politician from Lancaster has died suddenly aged 32.

Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 9:40 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd February 2016, 9:20 am
Conservative mayor of London, Boris Johnson with George Askew, a Lancaster city councillor and Conservative campaigner who has died, aged 32.

Former Lancaster Royal Grammar School pupil George Askew passed away at his Warton home on Saturday.

A Lancaster city councillor, Coun Askew had only been elected to the Carnforth and Millhead seat in November following the death of his Conservative colleague Chris Leadbetter.

His girlfriend Laura Makinson posted on Facebook that she was devastated at the loss of her “best friend, future husband, my George”.

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“Coming just three weeks after my father’s funeral it’s safe to say what I have experienced in these last few days is indescribable and beyond words,” she wrote.

“This is the start of one of the most difficult journeys a person has to learn to live without their loved one.

“I love you and I will miss you so much xxx.”

David Morris, MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale, also paid tribute to Coun Askew.

“I am absolutely devastated by the news,” said Mr Morris.

“I have known George for a number of years and have always been impressed by his tenacity, loyalty and dedication. I have no doubt that George was destined for great things, which makes this news even harder to digest.

“George was already shaping up to be a fantastic councillor for the people of Carnforth and Millhead. I know George will be sadly missed by myself, the party locally and his residents.

“My thoughts are with Laura his partner and the rest of his family at this sad time.”

Coun Askew is also survived by his father Harro, brother Max and sister Jennifer.

He had earned early political success after he moved to Pendle in early 2007 to become an election agent.

In this role, George helped Andrew Stephenson become MP for the town in the 2010 General Election. He later went on to be elected onto Pendle Borough Council and Lancashire County Council.

He was recently appointed a regional director of the Vote Leave campaign for the upcoming European Referendum.

Mr Stephenson posted his own tribute on Facebook.

“I’m utterly devastated by the sudden death of my best friend and former election agent George Askew.

“George was the driving force behind my election in 2010 and re-election in 2015. His support and guidance are one of the main reasons I represent Pendle today.

“I have no doubt that George was destined for great things which makes his untimely death even harder to bear.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to his brother Max, his sister Jennifer, his father Harro and his partner Laura.

“You will never be forgotten. Rest in peace, George.”

Coun Peter Williamson, leader of the Conservatives on Lancaster City Council, said: “It’s terribly upsetting.

“He was a decent straightforward bloke, a good-looking strong lad.

“I hadn’t known him long but he was open and friendly, easy to get on with.”

Coun Askew’s Carnforth colleague and fellow Conservative councillor Peter Yates MBE, said: “He was a great character and he loved his work.

“I’m devastated and I feel for his family. It’s a massive tragic loss for everybody. He was developing into a great politician.”

Coun Askew was a passionate supporter of rugby and also American Football, a sport he fell in love with during his time at Essex University.

No funeral details have yet been released.