Preston MP Audrey Wise dies, aged 65

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Labour MP Audrey Wise, champion of the rights of women and children, has died aged 65, it was confirmed today.

Labour MP Audrey Wise, champion of the rights of women and children, has died aged 65, it was confirmed today.

In a statement, her family said she died peacefully at her son's home on Saturday night: "Audrey had been diagnosed as having a brain tumour in April of this year. She fought her illness bravely and was optimistic that she would make a full recovery. However this was one fight she did not win.

"Audrey has been the MP for Preston since 1987 and prior to that was the MP for Coventry South West from 1974 to 1979. She leaves a husband John, daughter Valerie and son Ian. Audrey had four grandchildren.

"Her funeral will be held in Preston and the details will be announced shortly."

Besides championing women's rights Mrs Wise also embraced peace issues through the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. She was also a long-standing member of the Commons health select committee.

Its chairman, David Hinchcliffe MP, said: "Audrey Wise was the energy behind much of the health committee's work over very many years and has been the often unrecognised driving force at the heart of changes in policy by successive governments, especially in relation to provision for women and children."

Mrs Wise's majority in Preston at the last General Election was 18,680. In 1991 she became president of the shop workers' union Usdaw.

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