David Taylor, the Labour MP for North West Leicestershire died from a heart attack on Boxing Day.
There is no-one I admired more than David. He was a dedicated, able and active MP. He showed everyone what a back-bench MP can achieve via an extensive and intelligent use of the formal and informal avenues that are open to them.
He was a committed democratic socialist who cared deeply about the well-being of his constituents and for underprivileged people throughout the world.
In 2007 he won the award of "Commons Backbencher of the Year" on the vote of his fellow MPs. Yet as a non-doctrinaire member of the Socialist Campaign Group he was not a natural for such a recognition. It was his dedication and serious intent (often with a tinge of humour) which came to impress those around him, many of whom did not share all of his deeply held views. I had been lucky to be amongst those who not only admired his dedication and commitment, but also shared his general outlook on life and politics.
I met him before he became an MP, saw his impressive and regular output in the Commons when we were fellow members between 1997 and 2005 and only recently spoke to him at St. Pancras Station in passing as he rushed to catch his train back to Leicester. For he was always as active in his Leicestershire Constituency as he was in the Commons.
If Parliament is to restore its reputation then we need MPs who follow the example he has left behind him.