|Tributes Pour in for Alan Keen MP|
Praised for commitment to local community and sport
The leader of the Opposition Ed Milliband has led tributes to Alan Keen MP whose death was announced yesterday(Monday, November 14th).
Ed Milliband said that Alan Keen, a former Feltham & Heston MP, had been a great friend to him and would be missed.
“Alan Keen was a decent, generous man and his death is a great loss. Alan was Labour to his core – loyal, passionate about social justice and deeply committed to a fairer society.”
“A dedicated football fan, Alan continued to play for the parliamentary football team until his illness took hold. He was a great believer in the power of sport to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds make the best of their lives.
“Alan was great friend to me and he will be sorely missed by all.”
Tony Blair also spoke of his sadness at the news, adding: “He brought that passion for football with him to Westminster and was a fantastic advocate for sport as a force for good in society through his years in the Commons.”
Mr Keen, who served as MP for Feltham and Heston from 1992, is survived by his wife, Ann Keen, and his two sons and a daughter.
His death means a by-election in his London seat which he held with a majority of 4,658 at the last election when his wife lost her seat in the Brentford & Isleworth constituency to Conservative Mary Macleod.
Gordon Brown, who was a friend of Mr. Keen and his wife Ann (who worked as his Parliamentary Private Secretary when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer) said he had fought his illness bravely.
“I salute his bravery in facing cancer - fighting it as long as he could - and he will be remembered as someone who taught us how to fight illness.”
The leader of Hounslow Council, Labour Councillor Jagdish Sharma, said he was " deeply shocked and saddened" to hear of Mr. Keen's death at the age of 73.
“Alan has been a good friend and political ally for the last thirty years, and I will miss him. Alan served as a Councillor for Hounslow Heath Ward in the London Borough of Hounslow from 1986 – 1990, and was elected as the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Feltham and Heston in 1992. He brought both wisdom and common sense to these roles, and was extremely thrilled and proud to be able to represent the people of Feltham and Heston. A job he did diligently and well. He was a consummate Constituency MP who cared greatly about his constituents.
"Alan maintained his roots with Teeside, where he grew up, and his North Eastern sense of humour was appreciated by all. Alan was a lovely, kind man, and I will always remember him with affection. My thoughts and prayers are with Ann, his wife, and his family at the very difficult time." he said.
Mr. Simon Rodway of the Labour Party in Chiswick said that although Ann Keen had been the local MP, people in Chiswick also knew him well and he had many friends there.
" I had contact with Alan as a member of a Labour Party and he was extremely committed to local causes and a devoted member of Labour."
Alan Keen was born in Lewisham, London, but moved to Grangetown in the North East when he was a child. He attended Sir William Turner’s Grammar School in Redcar, and served in the army for three years before returning to London in 1963.
He worked as a systems analyst and manager in London before running his own business in the fire safety industry.
Mr Keen entered politics in 1986 as a Labour member of Hounslow Borough Council and became MP for Feltham & Heston in 1992, winning re-election in 1997, 2001, 2005 and again last year.
He was chairman of the all- party member groups on football and athletics and a member of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport select committee - which recently grilled Rupert and James Murdoch over the News of the World phone hacking scandal.
Passionate about football, he was briefly a talent scout for his beloved Middlesbrough FC. Middlesbrough MP Sir Stuart Bell added: “He was a regular attender at the Riverside Stadium and never lost his loyalty towards the Boro. He took a strong interest in footballing matters in the House of Commons and brought many a famous sportsman to Parliament.
“His death at a relatively early age is a great sadness to all his fellow MPs and our heartfelt commiserations go out to his wife Ann.”
And Syon ward Labour councillor Steve Curran, who has known Mr Keen for the last decade, described him as a 'kind and caring' politician and friend.
"He did his job as a politician diligently and fought tirelessly for those in our community who were less well off or less able to help themselves. He was good company and a fount of wisdom and advice, especially for me as a new councillor. His death will be a big loss to his constituency.
"I think his biggest legacy will be looking after the small man. His constituency case work meant more to him than any of the other work he did."
November 15, 2011