Weather Icon 8.4°C Rain
Tributes After Shock Death of Political Aide.
Friday 11th April 2014 @ 10:52 by Anna Fletcher

Richard Ashton1 Richard with Romy and Connor

Tributes have been paid this week to former political assistant Richard Ashton who has sadly passed away from cancer aged just 40.

Richard, who was well known throughout Tameside and had lived in the borough all of his life, worked as Tameside Conservative Leader Councillor John Bell’s political aide at Tameside Council for around 10 years.

He later worked at Apropos in Ashton as Communications Manager and more recently as PR and Communications Manager at the Residential Landlord Agency.

Cllr Bell paid tribute to Richard saying: “The loss of Richard is so tragic and all our thoughts at this moment are for his wife Charlotte, his children and whole family.

“I personally and my Conservative Party colleagues have such fond and cherished memories of working closely with him at Tameside Council.”

Richard had two sons from previous relationships, Connor and Charlie, and him and wife Charlotte have two-year-old daughter Romy, with Charlotte expecting their son in June.

Richard had had thyroid cancer previously, the first time in the mid-90s, but last October, while Charlotte was on maternity leave with Romy, he went to the doctor as he was having trouble swallowing and speaking.

It was then they discovered he had a tumour on his chest.

Charlotte said: “He’d been ill for six months, but we thought he was getting treatment to get better, so it was a shock that he declined so quickly.

“It was basically the Friday night that we were told it was terminal and on the Wednesday he died.”

Charlotte says she has explained as best as she can to the couple’s daughter, saying they are doing okay and each night Romy blows kisses out of the window for her dad.

Richard’s brother Jarrod is now hoping to raise money in his brother’s honour by taking part in the Manchester to Blackpool bike ride to raise  money for Christies.

For more on this story you can pick up a copy of this week’s (10th April) Tameside Reporter out now.

PICTURED: Richard with Boris Johnson and Richard with son Connor and daughter Romy.