May 16th, 2011
I would like to thank the 12,387 people in Inverclyde who voted Scottish Labour at the election last week and returned me as their MSP for the fourth time.
Over the next five years, I will promise to work hard in the interests of all of my constituents.
While I value every vote I receive, there is one vote in particular I will treasure, sent by post from a hospital bed in London by my friend and colleague David Cairns.
Sadly, David died before I got the chance to thank him in person.
Such was David’s high standing in the political world, tributes have been paid from the very top, from Tony Blair to David Cameron.
And this will be reflected on Wednesday night when the great and the good of UK politics say farewell to him at a mass in London, held at St Mary’s Church in Clapham Common where David once served as a priest.
And just like he did at the end of every working week in Westminster, David will return home to Greenock on Thursday to his family, friends and the community that he loved and represented so well.
We will say a final farewell to our friend at St Patrick’s Church on Friday.
Although David was highly-respected in the political circles in London where he worked, he never forgot his roots and loved the community of Inverclyde where he was born and bred.
And given the flood of cards and condolences that have came into the parliamentary office in the days since he passed away, the feeling was obviously mutual.
Friday will be a sad day as we remember a life too short but we take great pride in a local boy who achieved so much.