Hundreds at ex-MP’s funeral

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LOCAL dignitaries joined family members to pay their last respects to a former MP.

Hartlepool-born Frank Cook’s funeral was held at St Cuthbert’s RC Church, in Stockton, before he was cremated at Stranton Grange Crematorium, Hartlepool, yesterday.

Among the hundreds of mourners to pay their respects to Mr Cook, who was MP for Stockton North for 27 years, were Wynyard Hall tycoon Sir John Hall, Billingham woman Ann Ming, mother of murdered Julie Hogg, with whom Mr Cook worked closely to overturn the 800-year-old double jeopardy law, and North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Alan Foster.

Mr Cook died at the University Hospital of North Tees on January 10 after being diagnosed with lung cancer early last year and suffering a tumour in his right lung and a secondary tumour in a lymph gland near his heart.

Tributes have also been paid to former Sunderland Football Club chairman Sir Tom Cowie, who has died aged 89.

Sir Tom, who started out working on motorbikes at his father’s shop, founded the business empire which later became Arriva and was knighted in 1992.