It’s a very sad day for the UK Parliament, as we hear veteran Labour MP Gwyneth Dunwoody has died.  Dunwoody, who passed away yesterday, was perhaps the greatest current Parliamentarian; as Chair of the Transport Select Committee, she held Labour and Conservative ministers alike accountable in the best traditions of Westminster, ploughing through ministerial doublespeak and skewering poorly performing civil servants.  As a tory, it made this blogger extremely happy when she managed to retain her chairpersonship of the committee despite an attempted coup by her own party.

She was known as a warm, very open and honest MP, and an absolute joy to meet in Parliamanetary lobbying; she would have made an outstanding Speaker.  She struck this blogger as the best Labour had to offer; the passing of the irrepressible and irreplacable Gwyneth Dunwoody MP makes Parliament a little less brilliant, a little more mediocre, and a lot less human.