The family of Britain's former Treasury chief Geoffrey Howe says the longtime Conservative Party figure has died at his home. He was 88.

The family said Saturday that he had died suddenly of a suspected heart attack late Friday night at his home in Warwickshire, north of London.

Prime Minister David Cameron praised Howe's central role in the first government of former leader Margaret Thatcher.

Cameron called Howe "the quiet hero of the first Thatcher government."

Howe was Thatcher's longest-serving Cabinet minister but was viewed as helping end her time in office with a critical speech in 1990.

He was prominent for many years as a senior figure in the Conservative Party.

His family said he died after enjoying a local jazz concert with his wife Elspeth.