Column for Ilford Recorder 14 June 2012

I want to thank the more than two hundred people of all ages who came to the service of Celebration and Thanksgiving for the life of my 19 year old daughter Rebecca held at Forest Park Cemetery and Crematorium on Friday 1st June. I am particularly grateful that so many young people came, some from as far away as Scotland, from Montsaye Community College Northamptonshire, and from Canterbury Christ Church University. They joined many friends of Rebecca from Hainault Forest High School, Wanstead High School, Christchurch Primary School and Redbridge Music School.

I have been overwhelmed by the hundreds of cards, personal letters, emails, telephone calls and other messages of sympathy and support received over recent weeks from individual constituents, local community groups, and  local councillors, in Redbridge and elsewhere.    I would particularly like to thank Mayor Councillor Muhammed Javed and leader of Redbridge Council, Councillor Keith Prince for their support. I have been helped by the many prayers from constituents, of all faiths and supportive messages from Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs and  Buddhists. My fellow Members of Parliament and Members of the House of Lords of all parties have also been very kind. I have received messages from Ministers and Shadow Ministers including a very moving personal letter from Prime Minister David  Cameron as well  a letter from Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband. I would like to particularly thank Speaker John Bercow, and  my neighbour Lee Scott MP.

I intend to respond personally to each letter or card where I know the address of the sender, but in the meantime I take this opportunity  to express my thanks and appreciation for all the kindness and support I have received. It will help sustain me in coming weeks, months and years as I work to remain true to Rebecca’s aspirations and memory.

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