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Jamie's death prompts further tributes

PUBLISHED: 15:00 16 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:40 03 March 2010

TRIBUTES have continued to pour in following the death of Ipswich MP Jamie Cann.

Political friends and opponents joined other members of the community to speak of his devotion to the town of Ipswich and his battle for fairness both in the council chamber at the Town Hall and in the Chamber of the House of Commons.

TRIBUTES have continued to pour in following the death of Ipswich MP Jamie Cann.

Political friends and opponents joined other members of the community to speak of his devotion to the town of Ipswich and his battle for fairness both in the council chamber at the Town Hall and in the Chamber of the House of Commons.

Prime Minister Tony Blair led the tributes saying : "I am very saddened to hear of the death of Jamie Cann. He was a conscientious MP who always battled hard for his constituency.

"He will be missed by his many friends at Westminster, in the Labour Party and, of course, in Ipswich. All our thoughts today are with his family."

Former cabinet minister and Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer crossed swords with Mr Cann many times.

But he joined the tributes today.

"Of course, I didn't agree with Jamie Cann's political views," he said.

"But I have always honoured him as being a brave man who was prepared to stand up for what he believed, even when it was unpopular.

"I remember him as the only Labour Member prepared to vote against lowering the age of consent. He endured a great deal of personal attack for saying what he believed to be right.

"He ought to be remembered, even by those of us who deeply disagree with his politics, as a man of principle."

Suffolk County Council leader Chris Mole said Mr Cann's death had deprived Ipswich of a real champion.

"Jamie Cann was a larger than life character in Ipswich who was always forthright and plain speaking in his views. He was someone who commanded a lot of respect for his honest approach to public life.

"Jamie was someone who was committed to the town of Ipswich and his legacy will be in many of the services which were improved during his time as leader of Ipswich Borough Council.

"He was someone who never forgot his local government roots when he became an MP. An example would be the difficulties around the Wolsey Theatre a few years ago when he was always a source of good and sound advice.

"All his colleagues at the county council will miss him and everyone's thoughts are with his wife Rosie and the rest of the family."

Mr Cann won the seat from former Conservative MP Michael Irvine in 1992.

Mr Irvine was saddened to hear the news.

"I fought a hard, closely contested general election against Jamie Cann. He was a fair-minded and conscientious opponent.

"Although we were political adverseries we always respected each other and put the interests of the town first."

Ipswich Town chairman David Sheepshanks said everyone at the club was sorry to hear about Mr Cann's death.

"I was terribly sorry to hear of Jamie Cann's sudden death," he said.

"I was in his company only a couple of weeks ago and he was clearly putting a very brave face on his illness.

"He was devoted to Ipswich and was a good friend to the football club. On behalf of everyone at Ipswich Town I would like to pass on our condolences to Rosie and his family."

Ipswich rural dean and vicar of St Mary le Tower Peter Townley paid a tribute on behalf of the diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich.

"He was a good constituency MP with a great desire to help people. Our thoughts and prayers are with Rosie and his family."

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