A BODYGUARD who protected Mo Mowlam has revealed why she was known as the “Queen of Redcar” on the eve of the screening of a film about the former Cabinet Minister’s life.

As an armed officer with Cleveland Police, Brian Laverick co-ordinated Ms Mowlam’s security when she visited her constituency during the Nineties.

He remembers the charismatic Labour MP as a great lady and a great friend who had a wonderful sense of humour.

Mr Laverick, 58, was transformed into a “professor” for the day, thanks to Ms Mowlam, when he accompanied her to receive an honorary doctorate.

“I told her of my two daughter’s successes at university and that, at my time of life, I could never see me wearing a university gown,” he said.

“At that, Mo said ‘Oh yes you will’ and arranged for another gown and a photographer to take a picture. ‘There you are,’ she said. ‘Sorted’.”

Ms Mowlam was always concerned about what was going on in her constituency, even when she was in the international limelight, he added.

As Northern Ireland secretary, she was pivotal in brokering the historic Good Friday Peace Agreement in 1998.

But during the delicate negotiations she kept a watchful eye on efforts to get a job for a vulnerable Redcar man.

Ms Mowlam had approached local employers to plead his case and after securing an interview left him in the hands of Mr Laverick and her constituency agent, Keith Legg, when she travelled to Belfast.

“Keith arranged for the man to come to Mo’s house for a shower and a shave while I was given the job of providing a new set of clothes,” Mr Laverick said.

“If Mo rang the house once, it must have been half a dozen times, eager for news. Eventually, the man returned from the interview and told us it had been successful.

“When Mo rang and was told the news she was ecstatic.

She shouted: ‘Yes! Result!’”

Mr Laverick retired from Cleveland Police nine years ago after a varied career including 22 years in the force’s road traffic unit where he was in charge of the motorcycle section.

He founded The Boundary 500 Motorcycle Group which has raised more than £250,000 in three years for the Great North Air Ambulance and Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice.

Ms Mowlam left politics at the same time Mr Laverick retired.

He said: “Mo rang me one night and asked what I was doing and when I replied that I was enjoying myself she said she would put an end to that.”

Ms Mowlam had written her autobiography, Momentum: The Struggle for Peace, Politics and the People, and Mr Laverick found himself driving her around the country to numerous book signings for three months.

“Mo was a very intelligent, approachable woman. Indeed, locals referred to her as the Queen of Redcar,” he said.

She died, aged 55, following a fall at home and never regained consciousness. She had previously suffered a brain tumour.

“Mo is a part of this country’s history and it was inevitable that a film would be made,” said Mr Laverick.

■ Mo, starring Julie Walters, is on Channel 4 at 9pm tomorrow.