Arise Sir Edward Leigh MP

Long-serving Conservative MP for Market Rasen and Caistor Edward Leigh has been knighted for public and political service.

Sir Edward, who has been a Member of Parliament for 30 years, was named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

He said: “It’s an honour of course to be recognised by the Queen in this way, but even more so it’s a recognition of the hard work done by the many people in Lincolnshire who’ve helped me during my thirty years in Parliament.

“I am immensely humbled by their loyalty and by the Queen’s kindness in making me a knight.”

The Gainsborough constituency MP lives in Stainton le Vale and was first elected to Parliament back in 1983.

Sir Edward was born in London in 1950 and educated at Durham University.

He had a Catholic upbringing and his strong beliefs saw him vote against a recent gay marriage bill.

During a visit to Tealby Primary School on Friday - hours before the announcement - Sir Edward told pupils he felt strongly about education issues and the conflict in Syria.

He said the worst parts of his job were “hanging around” and having to vote for things he did not believe in.

Sir Edward told pupils: “You can be whatever you want to be, if you want to go into politics you can.”

At the last general election in 2010 Sir Edward’s majority rose to 10,559.

Earlier this year is was announced he will again contest the seat at the next election in 2014.

A celebratory luncheon is being hosted by the Gainsborough Constituency Conservative Association on Friday, June 21.

Also receiving an award in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List is Meryl Ward, farmer and owner of Uncle Henry’s Farm Shop in Grayingham.

Having been a campaigner on farm animal welfare for some years, Mrs Ward receives an MBE for services to the improvement of pig welfare.