Tributes as Labour MSP Helen Eadie dies at 66

MSP Helen Eadie who died on Saturday. Pic: Ian Rutherford

MSP Helen Eadie who died on Saturday. Pic: Ian Rutherford

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Labour MSP Helen Eadie has died following treatment for cancer, the party has said.

The Cowdenbeath MSP, who was being treated in a hospice at Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline, following her diagnosis on October 24, died on Saturday morning.

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont paid tribute to the 66-year-old, who had served as an MSP since the Scottish Parliament’s inception.

“Like many others, I was deeply saddened to hear of Helen’s death this morning,” she said.

“Helen was very precious to her family. She played an important part in helping to establish the credibility of Holyrood. She will also be fondly remembered within the Scottish co-operative movement. Her commitment to delivering change in our communities was the essence of her political beliefs and values.

“Helen was a politician of tremendous passion and commitment. She was her own woman who didn’t fit the political stereotype. Perhaps that’s why some underestimated her, but her difference was why she was admired by the people of her constituency.

“She will be missed by many and will be remembered across her constituency in standing up for their needs and concerns.

“My thoughts and those of the whole Scottish Labour movement will be with Helen’s family at this difficult time.”

Mrs Eadie was campaigning for her newly elected Labour colleague, Cara Hilton, in the Dunfermline by-election in the days before her diagnosis.

She was said to have been conducting her parliamentary business from her hospital bed.

First Minister Alex Salmond said: “Helen served the people she represented diligently over the years, first as a Fife councillor and then as MSP for Dunfermline East and Cowdenbeath.

“Helen was also one of the Scottish Parliament’s original MSPs, first elected in 1999, and that unbroken 14-year period at Holyrood is a not inconsiderable record of public service of which her family can be rightly proud.”