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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 August, 2005, 15:12 GMT 16:12 UK
Labour Party plans Cook tribute
Robin Cook
A memorial service will celebrate Robin Cook's life
The Labour Party is to hold a memorial service to celebrate the life of Robin Cook, who died at the weekend.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott said the event would allow those who knew the former Foreign Secretary to pay tribute to him and share memories.

Mr Cook, 59, the MP for Livingston, died after collapsing while hillwalking in Sutherland.

His funeral is being held at St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, on Friday and will be attended by about 700 mourners.

Speaking about the planned memorial service, Mr Prescott, who is also deputy leader of the Labour Party, said: "Robin's death has shocked and saddened Labour Party members and supporters at home and abroad.

It is important that such an important figure in the Labour movement is officially remembered by the party to which he contributed so much
John Prescott
Deputy Prime Minister

"Because Robin had been an MP for over 30 years and had worked so extensively with sister parties in Europe, many people have contacted the party in recent days to share their memories of him and pay tribute to his achievements.

"The party will want to pay tribute to Robin's contribution so I can confirm the Labour Party will organise a memorial event in due course to provide an opportunity for those who knew Robin to remember and celebrate his work for the party and the country.

"There will be many tributes paid to Robin in the coming months. It is important that such an important figure in the Labour movement is officially remembered by the party to which he contributed so much."

Among those attending the funeral will be impressionist Rory Bremner, Scottish football legend Ally McCoist and horse racing pundit John McCririck, who will be contributing to the service as a close friend of Mr Cook.

Former leaders

Mr Bremner had recently been in discussions with Mr Cook about holding a fund-raising event in Livingston for charity.

Most of the Cabinet will also be in attendance with the main eulogy being delivered by Chancellor Gordon Brown. First Minister Jack McConnell will also be there along with members of the other parties.

Tony Blair has been criticised for his decision not to cut his holiday short, however Downing Street said Mr Blair would attend the memorial service.

St Giles Cathedral
The funeral will take place at St Giles Cathedral

Madeleine Albright, US Secretary of State during the Bill Clinton era, will not be well enough to attend.

Former Labour leaders Neil Kinnock and Michael Foot are expected to be there.

Bristow Muldoon, Livingston MSP, said: "We have been overwhelmed by the contacts we have had from people all over the world expressing their sympathy at Robin's loss."

Mr Cook was pronounced dead after being airlifted to hospital on Saturday.

He fell 8ft down a ridge near the summit of 2,365ft Ben Stack in Sutherland.

A post-mortem examination, conducted at the Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, concluded that he died from hypertensive heart disease.


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