Labour Party retains Commons seat left empty by Cook's death

The long-serving campaign manager to former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook has been elected to the House of Commons seat left empty by Cook's death.

Jim Devine, running for Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour Party, won the constituency near Edinburgh by almost 3,000 votes over the candidate from the Scottish National Party, according to results announced early Friday. Voter turnout was just under 39 percent.

Cook died of heart failure Aug. 6, aged 59, after collapsing during a hike in the Scottish Highlands. A veteran Labour politician, Cook served as foreign minister in Blair's first government from 1997 to 2001 before being demoted to leader of the House of Commons. He resigned from the Cabinet in March 2003, days before the Iraq war, telling lawmakers: "I cannot support a war without international agreement or domestic support."

Cook remained a high-profile figure despite his withdrawal from government and became an increasingly vocal opponent of Blair's policies, AP reports.

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