Born: April 22, 1943; Died: June 9 ,2012.
Lord Maples, who has died of cancer aged 69, was a former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party who played a key role in his mission to modernise the Tories and find new talent to stand for election.
As John Maples he was economic secretary to the Treasury from 1990 to 1992 and served as an MP for Lewisham West from 1983 to 1992, and then for Stratford-on-Avon from 1997 to 2010 when the Tories were in opposition. He became a peer after standing down at the last General Election.
He was a popular, moderate, "One Nation" Tory, who warned the party back in 1994 that the Conservatives were heading for electoral disaster if they failed to address negative public perception.
Fifteen years on, as deputy chairman in charge of candidates prior to the last General Election, he oversaw the selection of swathes of new parliamentary candidates, nearly 150 of whom entered Parliament at the last election, including many more women and people from ethnic minorities. But the move was not without its critics, as constituency associations felt Central Office was trampling on their freedoms.
He resigned as MP for Stratford-upon-Avon shortly after the poll to clear his name following the expenses scandal.
He denied claims made in 2009 that he had declared the RAC Club in Pall Mall to be his main home to claim second home expenses on the detached house in Banbury, Oxfordshire, that he shared with his wife, the TV journalist Jane Corbin. He insisted he acted honestly throughout and was eventually cleared of any need to repay money by the former civil servant Sir Thomas Legg.
The son of a wine company director, he was born in Hampshire and raised on the Wirral. He and his sister Angela were brought up to be self-reliant and ambitious.
After reading law at Downing College, Cambridge, and studying at Harvard Business School, he became a barrister and eventually set up his own law firm in the Cayman Islands.
When he returned to the UK he worked for the former Tory cabinet minister Peter Walker and was eventually elected to to south London seat of Lewisham West in 1983.
Norman Lamont appointed him as his parliamentary private secretary in 1987 and in 1990 he became economic secretary to the Treasury, a post he held until 1992, when he lost his seat.
After a spell as chief executive of Saatchi and Saatchi Government Communications he returned to Westminster five years later and served successively as shadow spokesman for health, defence and foreign affairs.
He was dropped from William Hague's shadow cabinet in 2000 and spent the next six years on the foreign affairs select committee. His star rose again under David Cameron and after he moved to the Lords a post back in government at the next reshuffle was expected. But he was diagnosed with cancer soon after entering the Lords.
John Maples is survived by his wife, whom he married in 1986, and by their son and daughter.
We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules, which are available here.
Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.