I was really sad to read a while ago that David Cairns, the MP for Inverclyde, died last night.
For a while, I hoped Twitter must have got it wrong because there was nothing on the BBC- and things aren't true until you read them on the BBC, are they? Unfortunately, though, it is true. It wasn't the BBC that convinced me, it was a tweet from Tom Harris, linking to a heartfelt and very moving tribute he'd written to his friend. In it he paints a picture of a compassionate, honest, very funny man.
I only knew David from Twitter, which he clearly enjoyed. He was razor sharp politically and we had some robust exchanges ,but shared the same interests in trashy television so Saturday nights would find us both contributing to the plethora of Strictly and X Factor tweets.
He was clearly a people person as he always engaged with everyone no matter what their background was.
He had me in hysterics over Christmas when he tweeted something about Tracey Barlow in Coronation Street being let out of prison & slagged off Ken Clarke for it.
My abiding memory I think, is of last year on St Andrew's Day. We were under 2 feet of snow here and it was starting to fall in London. David Cairns was out watching a group of MPs take on a UN team at football in the freezing cold to mark World AIDS day the next day. The MPs were getting absolutely slaughtered. I was following the match with giggling admiration on Twitter. They could have cancelled and gone for hot chocolate instead, but they kept going for the cause and David's commentary was hilarious.
I feel sad at his passing and I only knew him on Twitter. I can only imagine what those close to him must be feeling at the cruel loss of such a bright and good young man and my thoughts are with them.