|Monday, 08 August 2005 11:35|
I was very upset to hear about the death of Robin Cook on Saturday night. He died during a walking holiday in Scotland. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Gaynor, his children, his ex-wife and all his staff at this very difficult time.
Robin was an outstanding parliamentarian, who approached things with impressive intellectual vigour. He resigned over the war in Iraq, and in doing so, merely confirmed what everyone knew already – that he was a principled and sincere politician.
His office was in the next building along from mine, and in the few short months since I have been in parliament, we stopped for chats on numerous occasions. The first thing he said to me after congratulating me on being a new MP was to apologise for not being able to come to a dinner I had invited him to in early 2004 – he had remembered this after over a year had passed. He also had the full saga of my lack of office and was always sympathetic!
He made a point of talking to me after the terror attacks on July 7th to discuss various issues relating to this. He had agreed to come to Tooting Labour Party’s fundraising dinner this November, and I was immensely honoured because I knew how busy and in demand he was.
He will be greatly missed around Westminster. He was widely expected to return to the Cabinet, and it is a shame that his life has been cut short. I will no longer be able to have my chats with him, and we will no longer be able to listen to his formidable speeches and debates in parliament.
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