Here at Westminster there is widespread sorrow about the sad loss which David and Samantha Cameron have suffered with the death of their eldest child Ivan. The Prime Minister and William Hague spoke for us all in their comments yesterday. All parents will feel sympathy with the Camerons during this difficult time; any child’s death is a tragedy. Over the years I have known a number of constituents whose children’s lives have been cut tragically short and I know that the Cameron family will need time to grieve and express their sorrow, preferably away from the public eye.
Although we often disagree about political issues, MPs of all parties have friendships across the political divide and we all know each other well, because we spend so much time together. In many ways, the expression ” the Westminster Village” does describe the environment here. This means that at times of personal loss, the House comes together as one, as it did so movingly yesterday. I remember a similar communal feeling when the well-liked Labour Leader John Smith died.