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Last Updated: Friday, 3 February 2006, 18:09 GMT
Hundreds mourn Rachel Squire MP
Order of Service
Rachel Squire wrote a letter to be read out at the service
Chancellor Gordon Brown has led tributes at a memorial service for the late Labour MP Rachel Squire.

Mr Brown told hundreds of mourners at Dunfermline Abbey how Ms Squire had written a letter to be read after her death from cancer last month.

"It is for you to decide whether or not I have been a successful MP," she wrote.

"All I can say is that I have given the job my undivided attention and my very best efforts."

She went on to say it had been a privilege to serve her constituents, thanked them and described the affection she and her husband Allan had for the area.

Her instinctive desire to help people came from her genuine love of people
Chancellor Gordon Brown

"Typical Rachel," said the chancellor. "Thanking her constituents at a time when all they wanted to do was thank her."

Ms Squire, 51, died on 5 January. She had suffered brain tumours, with the first appearing months after she was elected to Westminster in 1992, and in June last year she suffered a stroke.

Family friend Professor Alan Dobson told the memorial service in Dunfermline: "When we went to say our final farewells, she apologised for the pain her death would cause us."

Ms Squire's death has triggered a by-election in Dunfermline and West Fife, where Labour is defending a majority of more than 11,500.

Voters will choose from nine candidates on Thursday.

500 mourners

More than 500 mourners attended the service at Dunfermline Abbey.

They included Defence Secretary John Reid, Scottish Secretary Alistair Darling and First Minister Jack McConnell.

The speaker of the House of Commons, Michael Martin, gave a reading of the Burns poem A Man's A Man For A' That and another reading was given by the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Alan West.

Chancellor Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah
Chancellor Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah attended

The chancellor told the gathering that Ms Squire had never complained during her long fight against illness.

Throughout that fight, she had continued campaigning for her constituents, latterly working by phone from her sickbed.

The chancellor told mourners: "Her instinctive desire to help people came from her genuine love of people.

"Her commitment to social change came from a profound belief in the equal worth of every human being."

And he paid tribute to her "heartfelt belief in social justice and a strong moral sense that wrongs were to be righted".

By-election to be held next month
19 Jan 06 |  Scotland
Labour MP dies after long illness
06 Jan 06 |  Scotland
The Labour MP who defied the odds
06 Jan 06 |  Scotland
Labour MP in hospital with stroke
03 Jun 05 |  UK Politics


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