Like everyone Londonist was shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Robin Cook. In a Westminster of spin and backstabbing Cook always seemed to hold his own not through media manipulation or kicking those that faltered but by relying on fantastic rhetoric and sticking to his guns. Ironically perhaps his most remembered moment will be the resignation speech that he made on the eve of the Iraq war. It remains a damning indictment of the Blair government and all those that backed the war. You can read the full text here.
Since his death many have hinted that he would have found himself back in government sooner rather than later - although a long standing dislike between himself and Gordon Brown may have made such a move short lived. Now we'll never know. At one point he was also tipped to lead the Labour Party after John Smith's death back in 1994. We wonder if he'd have taken the UK in a different direction from Blair.
There are tributes and obituaries everywhere at the moment, but we rather like what general secretary of union Amicus, Derek Simpson, had to say:
"Apart from being extremely intelligent, Robin Cook was very brave and had more integrity than most politicians could ever dream of having."
In yesterday's Observer Andrew Rawnsley remarked:
His colleagues are all over the airwaves this weekend playing tribute to him as one of the largest figures of his political generation. Knowing Robin Cook, he would probably remark drily that, while he's sure they are sincere, it is just a pity that they left it until now to say so.