Outspoken former Tory MP, cleaning company millionaire and Luton Town chairman dies
PUBLISHED: 13:10 23 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:43 06 May 2010
COLOURFUL former Tory MP and millionaire businessman David Evans died yesterday (Wednesday) aged 73. David, of Mackerye End, Wheathampstead, made the giant leap from being a Wheathampstead Parish Councillor to being selected as Conservative candidate for
COLOURFUL former Tory MP and millionaire businessman David Evans died yesterday (Wednesday) aged 73.
David, of Mackerye End, Wheathampstead, made the giant leap from being a Wheathampstead Parish Councillor to being selected as Conservative candidate for Welwyn-Hatfield in 1987.
He overturned a Labour majority to win the constituency by nearly 11,000 votes and was able to give free rein to his strong views on issues as diverse as the return of capital punishment and the unwillingness of some of the unemployed to look for work.
A footballer on the books of Aston Villa in his younger years, he was chairman of Luton Town FC from 1984 to 1989 where, in an attempt to end hooliganism, he banned away fans from the Kenilworth Road ground.
David was born in North London in 1935 and failed his 11-plus exam. But his entrepreneurial spirit was evident from as early as 10 when he had a milk round.
At the age of 25, he set up an office and industrial cleaning business called Executive Office Cleaning with his wife Janice acting as his personal assistant.
To start with they did all the cleaning jobs themselves but everything changed when he won the first private contract for local authority refuse collection and cleaning at Southend.
By 1982, the company was known as Brengreen Holdings and employed 30,000 workers. David sold the business four years later for £32 million.
A committed Thatcherite, he joined the Tory Party in 1968 and cut his political teeth on the local political scene, fighting hard to prevent the closure of Wheathampstead Secondary School.
David lost his Parliamentary seat in 1997 after sitting on the 1922 Committee and being Parliamentary Private Secretary to several ministers including John Redwood when he was Secretary of State for Wales.
He never lost his interests outside politics and was chairman of another cleaning business, the Broadreach Group, which had contracts with companies such as Sainsbury's and Homebase, until it was sold in 2002 for around £17 million.
David and Janice married in 1956 and she survives him as do his two sons and a daughter.