Jacob Rees-Mogg, the former Cabinet minister, said: “Lord Lawson was the greatest chancellor of modern times.
“He had a better understanding of economics than any of his immediate predecessors and successors. His economic policies and tax-cutting agenda were responsible for 25 years of economic growth.”
Lord Lamont of Lerwick, who worked under Lord Lawson for a spell in the Treasury from 1986 to 1989, said: “I was sorry to hear the death of my friend and former boss Nigel Lawson. He was a towering figure in British politics – no man better equipped to be chancellor.
“He was a radical reforming chancellor and was an architect of Thatcherism, helping to draw up the plans for privatisation. He was also the creator of the medium-term financial strategy designed to curb inflation when Mrs Thatcher became prime minister.”
Greg Hands, the Conservative Party chairman, said: “I am sad to learn of the passing of Nigel Lawson. He was active in Conservative politics until very recently, and will be remembered for his clarity of thinking, commitment to free market economics and willingness to challenge orthodoxies. Rest in peace, Nigel.”
Lord Tebbit, who served with Lord Lawson in Margaret Thatcher’s Cabinet, said: “Politics will much the poorer for his loss.”
Lord Patten, who was environment secretary under Mrs Thatcher, said: “He was a very distinguished public servant, highly intelligent and a very important member of Margaret Thatcher’s government and revolution.
“He made a hugely important intellectual contribution to British politics, whether you agreed with him or not.”
Lord Lawson: A biography
Nigel Lawson was born in Hampstead, north London, in 1932 to a Jewish family – his father Ralph was the owner of a tea-trading firm.
After studying politics, philosophy and economics at Christ Church, Oxford, he carried out his National Service in the Navy, where he was in charge of a small torpedo boat.
He began his career as a journalist in 1956 at the Financial Times, and then in 1961 at The Sunday Telegraph, where he was city editor. In 1966 he moved to The Spectator as editor.
But it was as a politician that he excelled. After an unsuccessful attempt in 1970 he was elected MP for the Leicestershire seat of Blaby in February 1974.