The funeral of former Easington MP John Cummings will be held next week.
The details for the service have been confirmed as friends and family plan to gather to pay their respects to the 73-year-old, who died last Wednesday, in St Margaret’s care home in Durham after him after he was diagnosed with lung cancer.
His politics were based firmly in the community he loved.Durham Miners’ Association spokesman
His funeral will be on Friday, January 20, at 11am at St Joseph’s RC Church in Church Lane, Murton, with family flowers only and donations in lieu to go to the church.
It will be followed by a gathering for relations and friends at the Glebe Centre.
The former Murton Colliery mechanic, whose interest in politics began when he signed up as a Young Socialist, became one of the area’s youngest councillors before rising to become leader of District of Easington Council.
He then served his constituency as a Labour MP from 1987 until 2010, when his agent Grahame Morris was selected as the party’s candidate and won the seat.
In tribute to him, Mr Morris said: “He was kind and generous to a fault and a good friend and mentor to me personally.
“John Cummings will be sadly missed by all who knew him, his family and many friends in the mining communities and labour movement whose finest traditions he personified.”
Durham Miners’ Association has also spoken of the dedication of Mr Cummings.
A spokesman said: “He was elected with one of the highest majorities of 24,639 and went on to serve the constituency through some of its most turbulent times.
“John was an NUM-sponsored MP and was well known for always being available to help union members and the people of Easington.
“His politics were based firmly in the community he loved.
“He organised many social events for aged mineworkers and was committed to social justice.”
Elsie Doyle, commenting on Facebook, said: “I got to know John better due to community activity such as residents associations and fundraising.} “John was very local to us and although we had one or two differences over the years we were still friendly.
“He was very approachable and easy to talk to.
“Always could talk about local issues as well as politics.”
James Berk added: “I had the privilege of working for him for a summer many years ago.
“He was sharp, kind and funny. It was an honor.”