Fiona Jones, the former journalist and MP, has died aged 49, it has emerged.
The former Lincolnshire Standard Group, Lincolnshire Echo and freelance journalist courted controversy during her political career since winning her seat in Newark, Nottinghamshire, as one of the “Blair babes” intake of 1997.
She was convicted of making a false election expenses declaration under the Representation of the People Act in 1999, stripped of her seat, cleared on appeal, and went back in the House of Commons before losing her seat at the 2001 General Election. She was a key target for the Conservatives, whose Patrick Mercer took the seat with 20,983 votes to her 16,910.
Fiona remained convinced the investigation and subsequent disqualification was the reason she eventually lost her seat to the Conservative Party.
She later accused The Advertiser of failing to report on her activities as MP.
And after studying law at Lincoln University, she unsuccessfully tried to bring a civil case against Nottinghamshire police over their electoral fraud investigation.
But in December 2005 her attempt to sue police for malicious prosecution was thrown out of court.
Educated at a Roman Catholic convent in Liverpool, Fiona was introduced to politics by her father, who was a party activist for Liverpool Walton MP Eric Heffer.
She worked as a photojournalist and moved to Lincolnshire in the 1980s, serving as a district councillor in West Lindsey from 1990 to 1994.
She stood for Labour in Gainsborough in 1992 but finished behind the Conservatives and the Lib Dems.
She tried to gain nominations for the safe Lincoln and Liverpool Riverside seats before she was selected to fight Newark.
Fiona died just a month before her 50th birthday at home in Saxilby, Lincolnshire. She leaves two sons, Penri and Huw, and husband Chris.
Lincoln coroner’s office has said the death was due to natural causes and an inquest was not expected to be held.