Sir Nigel Thomas Loveridge Fisher, politician and author; born July 14, 1913, died October 9, 1996

Sir Nigel Fisher, who died yesterday aged 83, spent 33 years in the Commons, most of it on the back benches where he proved a trenchant critic of the Government, particularly of Harold Macmillan's leadership. Always regarded as being on the left of the party, he is probably best known for his brilliant biography of Iain Macleod published in 1973, still one of the best books about the leader the Conservatives never had. He wrote two other books, The Tory Leaders in 1977 and Harold Macmillan in 1982.

Son of Commander Sir Thomas Fisher and Aimee Constance Loveridge, he was educated at Eton and Trinty College, Cambridge.

During the Second World War, serving with the Welsh Guards in the Hook of Holland and Boulogne, he was mentioned in despatches. He reached the rank of Major and, in 1944, led the first Allied squadron into Brussels. He was wounded the following year while fighting in north-west Europe, winning the MC. On leaving the army he entered politics, becoming a member of the National Executive Committee of the Tory party in 1945. He was returned for Chislehurst, Kent, in the 1945 General Election and subsequently represented Hitchin from 1950-55, Surbiton from 1955-74, and Kingston upon Thames, Surbiton until he retired from the Commons in 1983. His Ministerial career was relatively brief - he was Under Secretary for Commonwealth Relations and the Colonies from 1962-64, and an Opposition spokesman for the following two years, and it was as an independent Conservative voice that he made his mark in the Commons. He was knighted in 1974.

He married twice, first to Lady Gloria Flower, by whom he had a son and daughter. That marriage was dissolved in 1952 and he subsequently married Patricia Smiles, who was an Ulster Unionist MP for North Down in the 1950s and died last year.

His son by his first wife is Mark Fisher, Labour MP for Stoke on Trent since 1983.