Tributes to former professor who died after contracting coronavirus while trying to stop its spread

Peter Sinclair. Picture: Jayne Ivimey

Peter Sinclair. Picture: Jayne Ivimey - Credit: Jayne Ivimey

The wife of a Norfolk professor who once taught David Cameron has praised her “exceptionally wonderful” husband, who died after contracting coronavirus while trying to help in the efforts to stop its spread.

Artist Jayne Ivimey. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Artist Jayne Ivimey. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Peter Sinclair, 73, of Sheringham, in north Norfolk, was the future PM’s tutor when Mr Cameron studied philosophy, politics and economics at Brasenose College in the 1980s.

Mr Sinclair had also been an advisor to several global prime ministers and governors of the Bank of England.

His wife of six years, environmental artist Jayne Ivimey, also aged 73, said she had been “completely swamped” with condolences from all corners of the world.

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“He was an exceptionally wonderful teacher and over the years had taught thousands of people,” she said.

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“We both worked on environmental issues and Peter was insistent that he wanted to help as a volunteer with the planning for the twin crises facing the UK - Brexit and Covid-19, so he took part in numerous meetings around the country.

“Tragically whilst working on these committees he picked up the coronavirus and needed to be taken to hospital.”

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Mr Sinclair was treated on the critical care ward at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital but died on March 31 after the virus spread to his lungs.

Ms Ivimey added: “All of the hospital staff were wonderful for allowing me to be with him in end of life care. I cannot speak highly enough of them.”

The couple, who married at Brasenose College, Oxford, had been friends since they were teenagers.

Originally from Letheringsett, near Holt, he was also a former Gresham School pupil and during his professional career he worked at Oxford University for 24 years before going on to lecture in the Economics Department at the University of Birmingham in 1994.

He also lectured at many other universities including more recently, the University of East Anglia.

Mr Cameron paid tribute to Prof Sinclair, saying he was “one of the kindest, as well as one of the cleverest people I ever met”.

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He added: “His enthusiasm for economics and solving problems was extraordinary and he inspired generations of students.”

The former prime minister said it was a “complete privilege to know him”.

David Cameron studied at Brasenose College from 1985-88.

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