The MP for Glenrothes in Fife John MacDougall finally succumbed to a long battle with mesothelioma, an incurable asbestos-related cancer of the lining of the lungs, this morning. He had never fully recovered from surgery he underwent last year and caused one Tory Blogger to prematurely announce news of his death when he had a sudden decline towards the end of the last parliamentary season and before the Glasgow East by election was called.
He passed away at the age of 60 a tragedy for his family and friends of a disease possibly repalted to his time building oil rigs before he took up the political gauntlet on Fife Council and since 2001 in the House of Commons replacing Henry McLeish in the then Fife Central seat which was redrawn into Glenrothes three years ago.
Glenrothes is the only seat that Labour now hold in Fife not held by a Prime Minister following the death of Rachel Squires and the Dunfermline and West Fife by election in 2006. It sadly makes Fife the only county in the country to have lost 50% of it MPs while the other 50% have become leaders of their parties (if Gordon leaves before the next they will also both lose their party leaderships) since the last general election. Its location between Gordon Brown's Kirkaldy and Cowdenbeath and Menzies Campbell's North East Fife constituencies means that yet again it will be a by election in these two senior Parliamentarian's back yards.