A Strong Voice for Croydon Central - Gavin Barwell MP
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You'll be sorely missed Malcolm
29/09/2012 21:40:00


Earlier this evening, I learned that Malcolm Wicks, the Member of Parliament for Croydon North, has passed away. He had been ill for some time, fighting a brave battle with cancer, but I suspect the news will come as a real shock to some because he didn't want many people to know how ill he was (he was wryly amused by people telling him how well he looked as a result of losing weight).

Malcolm was Labour to his core (his father was a Labour member of the GLC) but he was highly respected across the political divide both as a constituency MP and as a Minister in a number of Departments under Tony Blair and then Gordon Brown (in particular Pensions Minister and then Energy Minister). He was an intelligent and thoughtful man with a background as a research fellow in the field of social policy.

I didn't know Malcolm very well before I was elected but since then we have often found ourselves at the same civic or community functions and I'd like to think we became good friends. We lived quite close to each other and I would often give him a lift home from Westminster. I will really miss the conversations we had in the cab (as he referred to my car; the fare was very reasonable - one bottle of wine each Christmas). Sometimes they would be about what had happened in Parliament that day - how our leaders had done at PMQs for example; sometimes they would be about a particular policy issue, which might mean a heated argument or unexpected agreement (there was even the odd issue where he was to the right of me, though Phil Thomas will tell you that's not difficult); sometimes they would be nothing to do with politics; and occasionally he would tease the sometimes naive and over-enthusiastic new member for Croydon Central with his dry but very effective sense of humour. The journey home from work will be a lonelier one without him.

My thoughts are with his wife Maggie and their three children. I hope it is some consolation to know that Malcolm will be sadly missed - by me, by many others on both sides of the political divide and by thousands of constituents who he served with such distinction. Rest in peace my friend.

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Readers' Comments

On 30/09/2012 20:50:00 Paul Ogier wrote:
Whilst working for a national children's/family charity during the early/mid 80's I first came across some of Malcolm Wicks' research in social policy, particularly family policy. It was very accessible, insightful as well as critical and helpfully provocative. Some of the work, particularly on UK demographic trends and the social policy implications for central and local government, was very good but seemed to be ignored by government and local authorities of the day, possibly to the detriment of subsequent governments and our current situation and society.
On 01/10/2012 11:32:00 John Cartwright wrote:
I was shocked when I heard of the death of Malcolm Wicks, whom I knew fairly well and whom I met several times. He was a gentle, courteous man who served Croydon well and rose above the ideological turmoils and spin of the "New Labour" era. I remember that he joined in with me, Greens and Lib Dems to campaign for a "Yes" vote in the AV referendum last year; in my book that proves that he's a good egg and that he didn't let his huge majority under FPTP go to his head.

I was out at a concert on Saturday night and I didn't hear the news until about 2am, so I am not sure when the news broke. I had known for a long time that he was ill with cancer, but as far as I knew he was responding well to treatment and I had no reason to suspect that it was terminal. RIP Malcolm

On 02/10/2012 13:30:00 Anthony Miller wrote:
The modern professionalised politician who has never really had a career outside politics gets a lot of stick these days.

But if there ever was an advert for such professional politicians who have "dedicated their lives to politics" it was Malcolm Wicks.

Also you both looked very nice in pink





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