Page last updated at 12:25 GMT, Thursday, 1 April 2010 13:25 UK

Fellowship announced in memory of Ashok Kumar

Labour MP Ashok Kumar
The Ashok Kumar Commemorative Fellowship is 'a fitting tribute'

A fellowship has been created in memory of the late Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Ashok Kumar.

The annual post will be based in the parliamentary office of Science and Technology.

It was announced by House Speaker John Bercow, at a celebration of Dr Kumar's life attended by his family, friends and colleagues.

The Labour MP was found dead of natural causes at his home in Marton last month at the age of 53.

Prior to his death, Dr Kumar worked as Commons aide for Environment Secretary Hilary Benn.

He was also a chemical engineer, and the new fellowship is designed to let others in that field gain experience in parliament.

A director from the Institute of Chemical Engineers said it would also increase political understanding of engineering.

Andrew Furlong added: "Ashok was not only a fighter and an outstanding constituency member of parliament, he was also a good friend and his presence will be sorely missed.

"He had many special qualities; not least that in a political world dominated by lawyers and economists he was fiercely proud of his technical background and he remained a chemical engineer until the day he died."

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