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Last Updated: Monday, 8 August 2005, 06:28 GMT 07:28 UK
Cook cause of death investigated
Robin Cook
It is hoped the post mortem will reveal the cause of Mr Cook's death
A post-mortem examination is due to take place to determine the cause of death of former minister Robin Cook.

Mr Cook, 59, collapsed and fell while walking in the Scottish Highlands on Saturday and was airlifted from Ben Stack to Raigmore Hospital, Inverness.

He was pronounced dead after arriving at hospital about 90 minutes later.

The post-mortem will aim to establish whether the ex-foreign secretary and Livingston MP died from an illness or injuries sustained in the fall.

Funeral details are to be announced on Monday.

Family friend Jim Devine, Mr Cook's election agent, told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme: "I have to meet with the funeral directors and various people this morning, and we will be making that announcement this afternoon."

On Sunday Mr Cook's wife, Gaynor, spent about 15 minutes in the mortuary at Raigmore Hospital.

We asked was he conscious, he answered no, was he breathing, again no
Graham MacKenzie
Ambulance service

She emerged from the hospital wearing dark sunglasses and was visibly distressed.

Mrs Cook was quickly taken to a waiting car. It is thought that she was travelling to Edinburgh after formally identifying her husband's body.

The couple had been enjoying a trip to the north of Scotland when Mr Cook collapsed with a suspected heart attack.

Despite attempts by Mrs Cook and a fellow walker to resuscitate Mr Cook, the MP was pronounced dead at 1605 BST on Saturday, five minutes after he had arrived at the hospital by coastguard helicopter.

Resuscitation attempt

The Cooks are thought to have been staying in the village of Durness, near Cape Wrath - one of the most northerly inhabited localities on mainland Britain.

On Saturday afternoon, Mrs Cook had alerted another walker to her husband's collapse and the man contacted the emergency services at about 1415 BST.

Graham MacKenzie, the ambulance control room manager at Inverness, told how staff went through the resuscitation procedure with the man on his mobile phone.

Gaynor Cook
Gaynor Cook spent about 15 minutes at Raigmore Hospital

Mr MacKenzie said: "We first established what had happened, that he had collapsed and then we asked was he conscious, he answered no, was he breathing, again no.

"Our priority was to re-establish breathing so CPR instructions were given for the best part of nearly 50 minutes until the helicopter arrived."

Coastguard George Chrossan, who had to be winched down from the rescue helicopter, said Mrs Cook told him her husband had stopped breathing about 40 minutes beforehand.

It is understood Mrs Cook walked back down the 2,365-ft peak after her husband was on board the helicopter and was comforted by friends in Durness prior to travelling to Inverness.


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Hear some of the tributes paid to Robin Cook



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