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Gordon Clark, father of former Gillingham MP Paul Clark, died two days after Tory general election victory

The father of former Gillingham MP Paul Clark died two days after the general election – because he couldn’t stand the prospect of a Conservative government.

At least Gordon Clark’s son, defeated Labour parliamentary candidate Paul Clark, joked that was the likely consequence of his dad seeing the swing to the Tories on May 7.

Speaking at Gordon’s funeral at Medway Crematorium, Paul said: “He must have seen all the press coverage and was probably thinking if it was five more years of the Tories, in that case ‘I’m off’.”

Mayor's escort Gordon Clark with wife Sheila when she was mayor of Gillingham
Mayor's escort Gordon Clark with wife Sheila when she was mayor of Gillingham

Gordon, a 90-year-old retired journalist, died at a local care home. He is survived by his wife, former Gillingham mayor Sheila Clark, Paul, daughter-in-law Julie, and grandchildren Rachel and James.

Gordon Clark was born in Rainham, and despite his family’s political interests left the Labour Party in his 20s and never rejoined, Paul told the congregation.

A dedicated journalist who found his life interest after being called up in the Second World War, he was “accurate, patient, dedicated and determined,” his son said.

While working for the Press Association news agency in the Sixties he broke one of history’s great postwar stories.

It followed the announcement in parliament by the Conservative Secretary of State for War, John Profumo, that he had not been involved in any impropriety with Christine Keeler.

The ex-dancer immediately called a press conference and revealed to Gordon that she had been Profumo’s lover. She had also been sleeping with a Russian spy.

Harold Macmillan’s government collapsed.

The funeral of Gordon Clark
The funeral of Gordon Clark

Mr Clark’s granddaughter, Rachel told the congregation that Gordon loved all things bright and beautiful – particularly animals.

A life member of Kent County Cricket Club, her grandfather would always watch televised cricket with at least one of the family’s cats cuddled up on his lap.

Following his death last month, family members paid tribute to Gordon for his unflagging support of his son during his political career – Paul was MP for Gillingham from 1997 to 2010 and unsuccessfully tried to win the seat back in May.

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