The veteran Labour MP for Middlesborough, Sir Stuart Bell, has died after suffering from pancreatic cancer, the BBC reports.
Bell was first elected in the safe Labour seat in 1983, and was then easily re-elected at every subsequent election until 2010. The popular MP's vote share peaked at 71.4% during the Labour landslide in 1997, but had always held above 50% until the 2010 contest.
He was sometimes derided for refusing to hold constituent surgeries after being assaulted during one in 1997, but he did have a noteworthy parliamentary career holding a number of important positions, including Shadow Trade Minister, and was later knighted in 2004.
Bell's passing adds to the growing list of vacancies in Westminster. Labour MP for Croydon North Malcolm Wicks passed away last month, and other Labour MPs Tony Lloyd (Manchester Central) and Alun Michael (Cardiff South and Penarth) have both resigned to contest the upcoming Police and Crime Commissioner elections. Corby Conservative MP Louise Mensch resigned to move to America, and Mid Ulster Sinn Féin MP Martin McGuinness resigned to focus on serving as Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister.