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Monday, 15 October, 2001, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
Labour MP Cann dies
Jamie Cann
The MP has died aged just 55
Prime Minister Tony Blair has paid tribute to Labour MP Jamie Cann, who has died aged 55.

The Ipswich MP, who died on Monday, was admitted to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge with a serious illness on 5 October.

He will be missed by his many friends at Westminster, in the Labour Party and of course in Ipswich

Tony Blair
Mr Blair said that he had been "very saddened" to hear of Mr Cann's death.

"He was a conscientious MP who always battled hard for his constituency," said Mr Blair.

"He will be missed by his many friends at Westminster, in the Labour Party and of course in Ipswich.

"All our thoughts today are with his family."

Mr Cann, who was elected to the House of Commons for the first time in 1992, leaves his wife, Rosemary, to whom he had been married for 31 years.

The couple had two sons.

Mr Cann's career prior to entering parliament included a 12-year stint as the leader of Ipswich Borough Council and he was also a primary school deputy headteacher.

He was first elected to Ipswich borough Council in 1973 becoming its leader in 1979.

After dinner speaker

The MP also had a reputation as an after-dinner speaker and was known for his sense of humour.

One occasion recalled by our political correspondent Nick Assinder was when Mr Cann addressed a group of retired local businessmen.

He began his remarks by declaring: "I think this is the first time I have attended an event and lowered the average age."

Quick as lightning one of the diners shouted back: "And the intelligence."

He subsequently invited the group to lunch at the Commons.

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