Dennis Canavan announces death of fourth child

Dennis Canavan pictured in Falkirk last month
Dennis Canavan pictured in Falkirk last month
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Veteran politican Dennis Canavan has announced the death of his only daughter, the fourth child he has lost.

The former MP and MSP, who represented the Falkirk area in Westminster and Holyrood for over three decades, broke the news on social media yesterday afternoon

It is not clear how his daughter Ruth, who was in her late 40s, died.

He tweeted: “My only beloved daughter, Ruth, has passed away. She is now at peace with her dear brothers Mark, Dennis and Paul. RIP.”

A spokesman for Scottish Labour said last night: “Our thoughts are with Dennis Canavan at this difficult time.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney and co-convener of the Scottish Green Party Patrick Harvie were among those who offered their condolences to Mr Canavan and his family.

Mr Canavan lost his first son, Paul in 1989, at the age of just 16, following an eight-month battle with skin cancer. In December 2006, his 35-year-old son Dennis died of a brain tumour just four months after being diagnosed.

And his eldest son, Mark, died in Australia at the age of 41 in March 2007, after a three-year battle with motor neurone disease.

Weeks earlier Mr Canavan had announced plans to step down from the Scottish Parliament to spend more time with his family.

The 74-year-old also has a son, Adam (14).