Tributes flood in after Paul Goggins MP dies aged 60
Ed Miliband is leading tributes to Paul Goggins, as the Commons comes to terms with the shock news of the Labour backbencher's death.
The 60-year-old Wythenshawe and Sale East MP collapsed while running last week.
His family released a statement this morning confirming he died "last night" in hospital in Salford "with us by his side".
The statement continued: "We are completely heartbroken.
"He had been very ill since collapsing last week. The way in which he has been cared for at Salford Royal has been such a comfort to us and we can't thank the staff enough for this.
"We have been overwhelmed by the support and good wishes we have received from so many people – a real sign of love and a reflection of the sort of person Paul/Dad was."
Goggins, who was among the wave of New Labour MPs who entered the Commons in 1997, served as a Home Office and Northern Ireland minister.
He was behind Labour's amendments to the mesothelioma bill which the party pressed ahead with yesterday, despite Goggins' absence.
"Paul's family is devastated and heartbroken by his death. They are not alone," Miliband said in a statement.
"The Labour party has lost one of its most dignified, humane, wise and loyal MPs.
"People from all sides of the House of Commons had the greatest affection, admiration, and genuine respect for Paul. We are deeply saddened by his passing."
Goggins has already attracted a number of tributes on Twitter from all parties.
So sad to hear abt the death of Paul Goggins. He was a quietly effective MP,without malice,& liked by colleagues on both sides of the House
— Michael Fabricant (@Mike_Fabricant) January 8, 2014
I've been in so many places in parliament in the past few days in which we prayed for Paul Goggins and his family. Says so much.
— Gavin Shuker (@gavinshuker) January 8, 2014
Shocking and terrible news of the death of Labour's Paul Goggins MP. Liked, respected & admired by all.
— Greg Hands (@GregHands) January 8, 2014
Paul Goggins really was a thoroughly decent, courteous, intelligent, knowledgable and wise man. It is heartbreaking to hear of him passing..
— Sadiq Khan MP (@SadiqKhan) January 8, 2014
Goggins had two sons and a daughter with his wife Wyn. He once claimed his family was the inspiration for the 'Mrs Goggins' character on Postman Pat – a nickname which David Blunkett claimed stuck during his time in power.
Miliband added: "I know Paul's family have been profoundly moved by the outpouring of support, love and affection they have received since Paul fell ill last week.
"The Labour party has lost one of its very best and one of its own. We mourn him deeply."
Tony Lloyd, Labour's police and crime commissioner for Manchester and a former chair of the parliamentary Labour party, said his city had "lost a great son".
"Those who are dispossessed and those who are vulnerable in an increasingly unfair society have lost a great champion," he said.
"The only thing Paul and I ever disagreed on was his view, wrongly held, that Manchester City were the better of the two Manchester football clubs."