Former Labour MP Frank Cook, who spent 27 years in the House of Commons, has died at the age of 76.
He represented the Stockton North constituency on Teesside until 2010 when he was deselected.
Mr Cook, a former Butlins red coat, special needs teacher, gravedigger and construction engineer, won the seat in 1983 and one of his first campaigns was to fight plans to store nuclear waste in the former anhydrite mines underneath Billingham.
His spokesman said: "He also played key roles in backing plans for a new hospital at Wynyard, opposing moves to merge Cleveland police into a regional force, supporting Durham Tees Valley Airport, fighting to save the Sea Dragon oil rig construction project at Haverton Hill and working to secure the removal of the decaying former minesweeper Kellington from Stockton Riverside."
Mr Cook also worked to change the law on double jeopardy with local mother Ann Ming, whose daughter Julie Hogg was murdered.
He leaves a wife Somsangouane, and four children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren from his first marriage.
Mr Cook, who was diagnosed with lung cancer early last year, died in North Tees Hospital.