British MP David Cairns dies aged 44

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cairns was the MP for Inverclyde since 2001
Image: Shaun Anderson.

British MP David Cairns has died at the age of 44. Cairns died at the University College London Hospital where he was admitted to intensive care in March suffering from acute pancreatitis. He had represented the constituency of Greenock and Inverclyde in Scotland since 2001 as a member of the Labour party.

Labour issued a statement saying "It is with great regret that we have to announce that David Cairns, member of parliament for Inverclyde, passed away at 2300 last night at the Royal Free, London. David had been suffering from acute pancreatitis after he was admitted as an emergency patient eight weeks ago. Our thoughts are with his partner Dermot, his father John and his brother Billy and all his many friends and family." The statement added "David's untimely death is a huge loss to parliament and politics in this country."

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond called Cairns — a former Scotland Office minister — "clearly a dedicated and principled parliamentarian, and an effective representative of his constituents, who carried respect across the political spectrum and far beyond." Scottish Secretary Michael Moore, a Liberal Democrat, said "David contributed a huge amount to Scottish political life and was a decent, intelligent and warm figure who was liked and respected across political divides."

Cairns's Conservative successor to the Scotland Office job said Cairns "was a truly decent man, who worked tirelessly for his constituents and for the interests of Scotland."

Current Labour leader Ed Miliband also released a statement, saying "David will be missed beyond measure as a former minister, as an MP, as a friend and a colleague by many people." Former prime minister Tony Blair paid tribute to him by saying "David's life was dedicated to public service. He was a committed and conscientious constituency MP, an excellent government minister and a passionate campaigner for social justice, equality and opportunity."

Cairns, who was a Roman Catholic priest before entering politics, was only allowed to become an MP when a new law was passed. Before 2001 a 19th-century law had stated that former Catholic priests were not allowed to stand as members of parliament. It was only when The House of Commons (Removal of Clergy Disqualification) Act 2001 was brought into force that he could stand for parliament.

Cairns resigned during Gordon Brown's term as Prime Minister over disputes about Brown's position in 2008 but was re-elected at the last general election.

Due to Cairns's death a by-election will have to be held to decide who will become his successor.


Sources

Bookmark-new.svg