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STAR OPINION: It will be a duller world

PUBLISHED: 15:48 15 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:40 03 March 2010

A SENSE of great shock will be felt at the death of much-loved MP Jamie Cann - especially in Ipswich, the town he served so well.

A SENSE of great shock will be felt today at the death of much-loved MP Jamie Cann – especially in Ipswich, the town he served so well.

Today our hearts go out to his wife, Rosie, sons Andrew and Jamie and their whole family.

The thoughts and prayers of Evening Star readers will be with them today in their hour of grief – and many tears will be shed by the countless people who have been helped along the way by this dedicated politician.

As all those who met him over the years can vouch, Mr Cann was always far more than just another MP.

In an era of spin and soundbites, he was a true original – a larger-than-life, colourful figure. He was sociable, friendly, never afraid of a good argument, and certainly never the type to hide away.

He was a fighter who always told things the way they were, and prepared to do determined battle for his beliefs, winning the respect even of his political opponents.

There's no doubt at all that Mr Cann was regarded by many people all over Ipswich as a personal friend – first during his years as council leader and then when he was elected as the town's MP.

He was also a popular teacher and will be fondly remembered by the youngsters he taught over the years, who are now grown up.

He was not afraid to vote against his own party when his conscience dictated – and was famously the first Labour member to rebel against Tony Blair's Government after the 1997 election.

Before he took on the seat, Ipswich had traditionally been a marginal – but he built up a strong Labour majority, showing the strong personal regard in which he was held.

Above all, he loved Ipswich. He served his adopted town well and tirelessly, and will be a very hard act to follow.

Rest in peace, Jamie. The world will be a duller place without you.

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