THE former MP Lord Eden – who represented Bournemouth West for 29 years – has died at his Dorset home at the age of 94.

John Eden, the nephew of the late prime minister Anthony Eden, served in the House of Lords until five years ago, achieving a parliamentary career of 61 years in total.

Current Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns, who was exchanging emails with Lord Eden earlier this month, said: “He had an unquenchable thirst for life.”

An announcement in the Daily Telegraph said Lord Eden, who lived at Cranborne, died peacefully at home on May 23. It described him as a “beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather” and said a service of thanksgiving would be held next spring.

Mr Burns said: “Winston Churchill was prime minister when he got to the Commons. He was elected to Parliament 18 years before I was born and to have that incredible link with history was a real privilege.”

He said Lord Eden joined him to campaign as recently as the general election of 2017. The two had visited Bournemouth schools to meet “young people who were young enough to be his great-grandchildren, who were studying figures like Churchill”.

Mr Burns added: “To see the fascination and admiration with which they faced meeting him and questioning him was genuinely moving.”

Eton-educated John Eden was the youngest member of the House of Commons when he won a byelection in Bournemouth West for the Conservatives in 1954, at the age of 28. At the time, his uncle Anthony Eden was foreign secretary, waiting in the wings to take over as prime minister when Winston Churchill stood down less than a year later.

John Eden was one of the rebel MPs who caused his uncle trouble by pushing for tougher action in the Suez crisis.

When Edward Heath won the general election of 1970, he appointed John Eden as a junior minister for industry at a time of worsening labour relations. “I didn’t know what was going to hit me,” Lord Eden told the Daily Echo in 2014.

Bournemouth Echo:

From 1972 to 1974, he was minister of posts and communications – overseeing ITV franchises, the early days of cable television, an expansion in independent radio stations and developments to the phone system.

When the Tories returned to government under Margaret Thatcher, he became chairman of the energy select committee.

On retirement from the Commons in 1983, he was made a life peer, taking the title Lord Eden of Winton.

He remained an active member of the Lords, dividing his time between London and Dorset, until retiring at the age of 89 in 2015.

In his final speech to the House of Lords, he said he was not stepping down because of age but because “I have spent about two-thirds of my life so far in and around the Palace of Westminster and I thought that it was about time that I tried my hand at doing something else while I could still count marbles”.

Recalling his years as an MP, he said: “Bournemouth was extremely well served by a great local newspaper, the Daily Echo, which was most generous in its coverage of my activities and most skilful in its interpretation of my speeches.

“It is good that the old constituency is now well represented by the able and hard-working Conor Burns, a first-class MP, who was rightly given a resounding vote of confidence at the last general election.”

He concluded: “And now, as my noble friend Lord Tebbit might say, it is time for me to get on my bike.”