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Wigan MP Roger Stott dies at 56

ROGER STOTT, the Labour MP for Wigan who was an aide to the former prime minister Jim Callaghan, has died. Mr Stott, 56, had been ill for several weeks although the cause of his death on Sunday night was still not clear, a party spokesman said yesterday.

Leading tributes, John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, said: "Roger served the Labour Party well for many years. He did many jobs in those years, always with enthusiasm and commitment. They were tough years to be a Labour frontbencher and we will always be grateful for the work he did. We will miss him."

The Government now faces a by-election in Mr Stott's seat, where he had a 22,643 majority at the 1997 general election.

Mr Stott, who served in the Merchant Navy and also worked as a telephone engineer, entered the Commons after winning the Westhoughton by-election in 1973.

He became MP for Wigan after boundary changes a decade later. He served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Lord Callaghan of Cardiff from 1976-79. During 14 years on the Opposition front bench, he was a spokesman on transport, information technology, trade and industry and Northern Ireland.

Obituary, Review, page 6