By Matthew Barrett
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The writ for the Feltham and Heston by-election was moved in Parliament today by Labour's Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, Angela Eagle. The by-election will be fought on the 15th December, and follows the death of Labour MP Alan Keen (right), who lost his battle with cancer earlier this month. Mr Keen had been the MP for the seat since 1992. His wife Ann was also an MP until 2010, in the neighbouring seat of Brentford and Isleworth – which was a Conservative gain last year.
At PMQs this week, both David Cameron and Ed Miliband paid tribute to Mr Keen:
David Cameron: "I am sure that the whole House will also wish to join me in paying tribute to Alan Keen, who sadly died after a courageous battle with cancer. He was a popular constituency MP who served Feltham and Heston for nearly 20 years. Before entering politics, Alan was a scout for Middlesbrough football club and continued to be a great advocate for sport, not least through his chairmanship of the all-party parliamentary football group, which grew to be one of the largest in the House under his stewardship. We send our deepest sympathies to his wife, Ann, who is a friend to many here, and to his family and all his constituents. He will be missed by Members on both sides of the House."
Ed Miliband: "I also want to pay tribute, as the Prime Minister rightly did, to Alan Keen, the former Member for Feltham and Heston. He was, as the Prime Minister said, somebody who had friends across the House. He was somebody who believed in young people, in opportunities for young people and, most of all, in the power of sport to change people’s lives—and, as I heard at his funeral yesterday, he certainly had an unusual idea for his first date. He took his future wife, Ann, to the Orient, which turned out not to be a Chinese restaurant but to be Leyton Orient, who were playing that day. He was a great and lovely man, and he will be missed by all of us, but most of all by Ann and by his family."
Two quick bits of news on the by-election from this afternoon: