Dame Cheryl Gillan’s death over the Easter weekend sent shockwaves through the community, particularly those who were unaware she was suffering from a long illness.

Tributes poured in for the Chesham and Amersham MP, who died on Saturday aged 68.

Mrs Gillan was made a Dame in the Queen’s New Year Honours in 2018, at the time crediting the honour to her constituents, and served her constituency for almost 30 years.

It is now very likely that a by-election will take place, since Dame Cheryl sadly died while in office - but this could take months, according to the UK Parliament website.

The website says the Chief Whip of the political party whose MP held the vacant seat – in this case, the Conservative party – starts the process of a by-election by ‘moving the writ’.

This is a motion requesting “that the Speaker do issue his Warrant to the Clerk of the Crown to make out a new Writ for the electing of a Member to serve in this present Parliament for the constituency of .... in the room of...”

The Speaker puts this question to MPs to decide whether to agree on the motion.

If MPs agree, it becomes an Order for the Speaker, who then issues a warrant to the Clerk of the Crown, who then sends the writ to the relevant returning officer.

The UK Parliament website says a new writ is usually issued within three months of the vacancy, with the by-election timetable taking place between 21 and 27 working days from the issuing of the writ - but there have been a few instances when seats have stayed vacant for more than six months.

Until a by-election takes place, an MP of the same party in a neighbouring constituency manages constituency matters.

It has not yet been announced who this MP will be. Bucks MPs include Steve Baker, for Wycombe, Joy Morrissey, Beaconsfield, Rob Butler for Aylesbury, Greg Smith, Buckingham, Ben Everitt for Milton Keynes North and Iain Stewart for Milton Keynes South.