Tributes paid to two Labour stalwarts who died within weeks of each other (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Tributes paid to two Labour stalwarts who died within weeks of each other
TRIBUTES have been paid to two Labour Party stalwarts who have died within a few weeks of each other.
Mike McIlroy, who was a former president of Pendle constituency Labour Party and taught at Bradley Primary School, has died at the age of 55.
He has left wife Gillian and sons Tom and James.
The father-of-two was later deputy headteacher of Hyndburn Park Primary and headteacher at Burnley’s Rosewood Primary.
Later Mr McIlroy went on to work for the Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Schools, which later became Ofsted.
Party colleague Alan Newbould said: “Mike will be remembered for his intellect, humour and most importantly his sense of comradeship. He was a big man in every way.
“He lived life as a socialist and died a socialist, insisting that the red flag was sung at his funeral.”
Mr McIlroy also worked closely with then-Labour MP for Pendle Gordon Prentice, who was also paid tribute to a second party campaigner, who died recently from cancer, aged 61.
Bob Wilkinson was Mr Prentice’s agent in the 1997 General Election, when he secured a 10,000 majority Mr Prentice, who is now based in Canada, compiled a tribute to Mr Wilkinson, who also had two sons, Alan and Ian. Wife Ruth also worked in the MP’s office in Carr Road for a number of years.
The former MP said: “Bob, a teacher by profession, could be quite self-effacing, playing down his own role in our stunning victory in Pendle.”
Mr Prentice said he understood that his former agent left the party over misgivings over its policy in Iraq.
He added: “If so, this decision wouldn’t have surprised me.
“He would have quickly sussed out that the reasons for the war were entirely bogus.
“I feel a deep sadness that Bob is no longer with us.”
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