More tributes to ‘tremendous’ MP Jack Straw
4:30pm Monday 28th October 2013 in News
FORMER colleagues, and friends of Jack Straw, have paid tribute to the Blackburn MP after he announced he was standing down at the next General Election.
The 67-year-old told a meeting of the town’s Labour Party on Friday night that summer events, including a health scare, the death of his 92-year-old mother Joan, and the birth of his two grandchildren, had persuaded him not to fight the election due in May 2015.
Eddie Walsh MBE, the former Chief Superintendent in Blackburn, worked closely with Mr Straw on bringing in anti-social behaviour orders.
He said: “Jack has been a tremendous MP in terms of the time spent in the constituency.
“He is interested in listening to people’s problems and very approachable, even when he was Home Secretary.
“We had a good working relationship. Anti-social behaviour was a problem in some parts of Blackburn at the time and, after discussing the issue, the idea of anti-social behaviour orders came up.”
Coun Salim Mulla, a former chairman of Lancashire Council of Mosques, said: “He has been one of the best MPs Blackburn has ever had. “He has done so much for Blackburn, and he is just a wonderful human being.
“He is a very caring MP and a very supportive MP. He should be remembered for everything he has done for Blackburn.”
Mr Straw is the elder statesman among his fellow East Lancashire MPs, and Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson, who was elected for the Conservatives just three years ago, said: “Since I was elected I have worked closely with Jack on numerous issues and I have always found him to be very committed to Blackburn, and also the various causes that affect the whole of East Lancashire.
“He is someone who is willing to work cross-party to achieve the best outcome for the community.”
Mr Straw was one of only three Labour MPs to serve continuously in the Cabinet from the party’s victory in 1997 to defeat in 2010, with Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling the other two.
Mr Darling said: “With some MPs you can’t be sure what constituency they represent, but when you looked at Jack you knew he was Blackburn MP.
“His first thought on any big issue was what people in Blackburn think about this, which is undoubtedly the mark of a good constituency MP.”
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