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Hundreds pay tribute to former MP Ken Hargreaves MBE at House of Commons memorial service

Dignitaries from Hyndburn and across the country paid their respects at a touching memorial service to late former MP Ken Hargreaves MBE.

Ken Hargreaves

Dignitaries from Hyndburn and across the country paid their respects at a touching memorial service to late former MP Ken Hargreaves MBE.

Around 200 people – including a sizeable contingent from the borough - attended a service at the House of Commons crypt to pay tribute to Mr Hargreaves, who died in June aged 73.

Some 30 people from Oswaldtwistle made to the trip to London for the service, as well as representatives from Mount Carmel School in Accrington.

Former Hyndburn MP Greg Pope paid tribute to his predecessor.

He told the Observer: “It was a privilege to attend Ken's memorial Mass in the Crypt of the House of Commons. I was not surprised that it was packed with MPs from all parties and it was nice to see the sizeable contingent from Hyndburn, especially from Mount Carmel School. It was fitting that tributes could be made in Parliament given Ken's tireless service to his country and his constituents.”

Among the congregation were Mr Hargreaves’ long-time friend and former government minister Ann Widdecombe and current Hyndburn MP Graham Jones.

Mr Hargreaves’ friend Coun Peter Britcliffe said it was “a very special occasion”.

He added: “The speaker John Bercow did a reading and the eulogy was read by Ann Widdecombe. What was great was that Father Daly from St Mary’s Church took part in the service and that there were so many people there from Hyndburn, and Oswaldtwistle in particular.

“It was a very wonderful occasion and one I will always remember.”

The service was held on Wednesday, October 24.

As well as MP between 1983 and 1992, Mr Hargreaves served as a local councillor for 19 years and was an altar server at St Mary’s Oswaldtwistle for more than six decades.

He was awarded the MBE in 2007 and the Freedom of the Borough for services to Hyndburn in 2010.

 
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