The sudden death of David Taylor, the MP for North West Leicestershire, is a tragedy for his family and his constituents. He will be remembered fondly as an old-fashioned rebel and genuinely independent thinker. Never in hock to the Labour whips, he put the interests of his constituents first, whether or not they appeared to collide with the demands of the executive.
Old school in the best sense of that word, Mr Taylor's Commons career is a reminder that Parliament contains many men and women inspired by the ideal of public service alongside those less admirable individuals motivated more by ambition for high office and personal gain.
If our politicians wish to reconnect with the public and regain respect following a truly terrible year for their profession, they could do worse than look to Mr Taylor's example. We must hope that the class of 2010 embodies something of his spirit and tenacity.