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Sir Stuart Bell MP dies at 74

19 October 2012

PA

THE Secretary of the Church Commissioners, Andrew Brown, expressed "great sadness" at the death of the former Second Church Estates Commissioner, Sir Stuart Bell MP, on Saturday.

Sir Stuart (right), the Labour MP for Middlesbrough, served as Second Commissioner from 1997 to 2010. He died from pancreatic cancer, aged 74.

Mr Brown said: "Sir Stuart was the longest serving Second Church Estates Commissioner, and served both the Church Commissioners and the Church of England with distinction. Before stepping down following the last election, he regularly answered questions on Church matters in the House of Commons, covering a wide range of topics. He was a man of wisdom and integrity; he will be much missed. Sir Stuart's family remain in our thoughts and prayers."

Sir Stuart steered 18 Church of England Measures through Parliament, and answered more than 900 parliamentary questions. He fought for Church Commissioners' Questions to be retained when it looked likely to be sidelined as the parliamentary timetable came under pressure.

The Prime Minister said that Sir Stuart was "one of Parliament's great characters". The Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband, spoke of his efforts for many causes, and called his death a "huge blow".

Obituary to follow.

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