Tuesday, 10 May 2011

David Cairns

David Cairns

The former Scotland Office minister and Labour MP David Cairns has died after an illness, it has been confirmed.
The Inverclyde MP was taken into intensive care in March, suffering from acute pancreatitis.
The 44-year-old had been receiving specialist treatment at University College London Hospitals.
A Labour spokesman, said: "David's untimely death is a huge loss to parliament and politics in this country."
Tributes to Mr Cairns flooded in from across the Labour Party when the news was announced.
Confirming the news, a statement from the party, said: "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.

David Cairns - background

David Cairns was born and raised in Greenock, the town he later represented in the Commons.
He attended Notre Dame High School, training as a priest before finding his way into Labour while director of the Christian Socialist Movement.
Mr Cairns was elected MP for Greenock and Inverclyde, as the seat was then called, in 2001, after having worked for Micham MP Siobhan McDonagh.
Before becoming an MP, parliament had to reverse a law dating back to the 19th century, which banned former Catholic priests from taking up a seat.
He was returned as MP for Inverclyde in the 2005 election and was appointed as a Scotland Office minister.
In 2008, the Blairite became the first UK minister to resign during a period when rebel MPs had been calling for a leadership contest during Gordon Brown's time as prime minister.
Mr Cairns had said the time had come to "allow a leadership debate to run its course".
Glasgow South MP Tom Harris, who was the first Scottish Labour MP to call on Mr Brown to stand down as prime minister, said Mr Cairns "knew more about David Bowie than David Bowie did", and changed his ring tone so that "rebel, rebel", would play whenever he got a call from the Inverclyde MP.
As a backbencher, Mr Cairns piloted legislation to protect shop workers from being forced to work on Sundays and served as a member of the Culture Select Committee at Westminster

"Our thoughts are with his partner Dermot, his father John and his brother Billy and all his many friends and family."
Scottish Labour leader, Iain Gray, said of the one-time Catholic priest: "He was a man of enormous dignity, courage and outstanding intellect.
"His time as a minister was characterised by good humour, good judgement and good character. He had so much more to give his party and his country."
Labour leader Ed Miliband, added: "David will be missed beyond measure as a former minister, as an MP, as a friend and a colleague by many people and my heart especially goes out to his partner Dermot and his family in Scotland.
"A highly effective minister of state in the Scottish Office, he was Labour through and through and yet was much-respected across the political divide."
Greenock MSP Duncan McNeil described Mr Cairns' death as a "huge loss".
Mr McNeil said: "This is such a huge loss. People are just shell-shocked.
"David was a colleague and a friend to so many people and highly respected. He was a big talking point in Inverclyde - people were always asking how he was doing these last few weeks."
Tony Blair, who first appointed Mr Cairns as a minister, said: "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.
"But more than that, David was, quite simply, a good man, with time for everyone and a wonderful sense of humour, which made him a delight to be around."
Glasgow Labour MP, Tom Harris, said: "David was a gifted and popular MP with a political instinct that was second to none.
"He was absolutely committed to the Labour movement and to Labour's electoral success."
Acute pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas, is a treatable condition, but has been known to be life-threatening.
Mr Cairns served in the last UK government, but quit in 2008 after criticising Gordon Brown's leadership.
His death means a by-election will be held in Inverclyde to choose a successor.

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