Page last updated at 13:58 GMT, Thursday, 8 May 2008 14:58 UK

Tributes paid to Gwyneth Dunwoody

Gwyneth Dunwoody
Ms Dunwoody was first elected an MP in 1966

Leading political figures have paid their last respects to veteran Labour MP Gwyneth Dunwoody, who died last month at the age of 77.

Hundreds of mourners attended her funeral at St Margaret's Church, Westminster. Commons leader Harriet Harman represented the government.

Mrs Dunwoody was Crewe and Nantwich MP for 34 years.

Justice Secretary Jack Straw said she would be remembered for her "spirit, humour and above all her example".

'Rich life'

Among the mourners were Conservative leader David Cameron, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Chancellor Alistair Darling.

In his tribute, Mr Straw said: "As we mourn, so we celebrate a rich and extraordinary life and thank God for the gift that each of us - friends, family, constituents, Parliament and nation - received from Gwyneth, from her spirit, her humour and above all her example."

He added: "Gwyneth was Labour, she was partisan but had many friends across the party divide and will be greatly touched by the attendance today by so many from different parties than her own."

Prime Minister Gordon Brown was unable to attend the service as he was travelling to Northern Ireland to meet Irish counterpart Brian Cowen and New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Mrs Dunwoody was a prominent Labour backbencher who served as chairman of the Commons transport committee until her death.

She joined the Labour Party in 1946 and first entered Parliament as the MP for Exeter in 1966.

From 1967 she was a minister on the former Board of Trade, before losing her seat in 1970.

She was elected MP for Crewe in 1974 - which became Crewe and Nantwich in a 1983 boundary change. She was also a member of the European Parliament from 1974 to 1979.

A by-election is to be held in Crewe and Nantwich on Thursday 22 May.


SEE ALSO
Tributes to Gwyneth Dunwoody
18 Apr 08 |  UK Politics
Veteran Labour MP Dunwoody dies
18 Apr 08 |  UK Politics


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