A stunned meeting of Labour Party members heard Nick Raynsford announce his retirement.
It was like losing a relative who we have had close contact for many years. There will be those wishing to criticise him for all sorts of reasons, but no one can ignore the part he played in making Greenwich a better place. He has been an inspiring and dedicated Member of Parliament. At a time when critics all too often find reasons to criticise Members of Parliament, you have to work closely with him to see how committed he is to his constituency.
He will be a hard act to follow but he has my best wishes and appreciation for his friendship and support over many years.