Tom Blenkinsop, the Labour Member of Parliament for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, today expressed his sorrow at the news of the death of his fellow Labour Middlesbrough MP, Sir Stuart Bell.
“I am extremely saddened to hear the news that my colleague and fellow Middlesbrough Labour MP Sir Stuart Bell has passed away after losing his fight with pancreatic cancer. My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his wife Margaret, his children, his office staff and all his family and friends.
Whilst I was brand new to Parliament in 2010, following the sad death of Ashok Kumar, Sir Stuart was the longest serving MP elected at the last General Election on Teesside, having represented Middlesbrough since 1983.
During Sir Stuart’s 29 years in Parliament, he held a number of roles and fought numerous battles for his constituents. I know many will remember him for being the Second Church Estates Commissioner for 13 years, acting as a link between the Church of England to Parliament and Government. Sir Stuart also had a wide range of roles in Parliament, being knighted for his service in 2004, including being Chair of the House’s Finance and Services Committee, and being a member of the House of Commons Commission. On a European level, I know that Sir Stuart was one of the most active Parliamentarians in developing Anglo-French relations, which was recognised by President Chirac in 2006 when he was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour.”