Tributes pour in for Wythenshawe MP Paul Goggins
Mr Goggins, who died in hospital on Tuesday, was one of the most respected MPs in the House of Commons.
Labour leader Ed Miliband said: “Paul’s family is devastated and heartbroken by his death. They are not alone. 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.
“Paul was a man of deep faith whose commitment and strong values shone through everything he did.
“The Labour Party has lost one of its very best and one of its own. We mourn him deeply.”
Close friend and fellow Labour MP Andy Burnham said: “He personified everything that is good about politics and his values and sheer decency shone through in everything he did.
“Paul was utterly devoted to his constituents and the causes he championed. He was everything a good MP should be and someone in politics for the right reasons.
“The disadvantaged and dispossessed have lost a true champion in Paul Goggins and Parliament is the poorer for his passing.”
Withington Liberal Democrat MP, John Leech, said: “My deep condolences to his family and friends. He was one of the good guys!”
And the Deputy Chairman of Wythenshawe and Sale East Conservative Association, Stephen Wood, commented: “I am extremely saddened at the news of the death of Paul Goggins MP. My thoughts and prayers go to his family & friends.”
Mr Goggins was born in Manchester and as a man of faith was part of the Christian Socialist strand of the Labour Party, campaigning on a range of issues linked to social justice.
Before entering parliament in 1997, he was the director of Church Action on Poverty, a national church-based campaigning organisation.
He was also a councillor in Salford between 1990-1998. Salford Mayor Ian Stewart, commented: “Broken-hearted to hear of the death of Paul Goggins MP, one of the nice guys of politics. Terrible, terrible shock and huge loss to movement.”
Mr Goggins was a member of the House of Commons Social Security Select Committee until October 1998 when he was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to John Denham, then the Minister of State at the Department of Social Security. He moved with John to the Department of Health in January 1999.
In December 2000 he was appointed parliamentary private secretary to David Blunkett, Secretary of State at the Department for Education and Employment and moved with David to the Home Office in June 2001.
In May 2003 he was appointed Minister for Prisons and Probation and after the May 2005 election, Paul was reappointed as a minister in the Home Office with responsibility for serious and organised crime, the voluntary and community sector, faith and race equality.
In May 2006 Mr Goggins was appointed minister in the Northern Ireland Office with responsibility for Health, Security and Prisons and in May 2007 he was promoted to Minister of State for Northern Ireland.
Paul is the co-founder of the All Party Parliamentary Friends of CAFOD group and is Secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Poverty.
Mr Goggins will be remembered as a hard-working constituency MP who campaigned strongly for the disadvantaged and vulnerable.
Last month he successfully campaigned alongside Stockport MP, Anne Coffey for children in care to be able to stay with their foster families until their 21st birthday.
He strongly opposed the Bedroom Tax and had campaigned in Parliament against the closure of Wythenshawe’s Remploy factory which employed disabled people.
Among his many other campaigns, he also fought for compensation of sufferers of mesothelioma and victims of the contaminated blood scandal which had wrecked the lives of thousands of people, including two of his constituents.