[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 6 January 2006, 12:18 GMT
Labour MP dies after long illness
Rachel Squire
Rachel Squire was elected as an MP in 1992
MP Rachel Squire, who battled cancer for more than a decade, has died at the age of 51.

The Labour member for Dunfermline and West Fife twice underwent surgery for brain tumours, then in June last year she suffered a stroke.

Her family said that Ms Squire died peacefully on Thursday night with her husband Allan at her bedside.

Chancellor Gordon Brown led the tributes to Ms Squire, who was first elected as an MP in 1992.

Mr Brown, who represents the neighbouring Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency, said: "Rachel Squire was a wonderful MP and a caring friend and colleague: a great servant to the people she represented and a woman who showed quiet concern and compassion for others, even amidst her own suffering.

Secure funds

"Even when she knew she was dying, her first thoughts were for others in need."

During her career as an MP, Ms Squire campaigned to retain a naval presence at Rosyth and helped secure funds to save the Longannet coal mine.

However, it was finally forced to shut in 2002 after an underground flood.

Ms Squire became known as one of the most committed and successful constituency advocates in parliament.

She will be missed by all who relied on her advice, support and help, and she will be mourned throughout the whole of Fife and Scotland
Gordon Brown

She had a keen interest in defence matters, serving as a member of the Defence Select Committee and sitting at NATO's parliamentary assembly.

Mr Brown said: "Her service to Dunfermline over two decades and her dedication to our people, our dockyards, our mining communities, and our hospital was remarkable, and will never be forgotten.

"Our condolences go to her family, particularly her husband, who was a tower of strength to her and cared for her every day of her illness.

"She will be missed by all who relied on her advice, support and help, and she will be mourned throughout the whole of Fife and Scotland."

A spokeswoman for Ms Squire's family said: "Rachel died peacefully in her sleep last night at 11.15pm.

"She was in no discomfort and no pain. Her husband was at her side.

"The funeral will be private but there will be a memorial service held at a later date."

'At peace'

Ms Squire underwent surgery in 1993 for a brain tumour and defied the odds to recover, going on to become a patron of the Brain Tumour Action charity.

A second tumour was diagnosed in 2004 and a second operation was described as a success.

However, she was taken into Edinburgh's Western Infirmary last year after suffering a stroke caused by bleeding on the brain.

Her husband Allan said: "Rachel is at peace.

"She was a great fighter. She will be greatly missed by everyone who knew her."

Tributes have been paid after the death of Rachel Squire

The Labour MP who defied the odds
06 Jan 06 |  Scotland
Labour MP in hospital with stroke
03 Jun 05 |  UK Politics

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific