Paul Goggins: Friends and colleagues pay tribute to Labour MP

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Media captionFriends, colleagues and constituents pay tribute to Paul Goggins

Friends and colleagues of Labour MP Paul Goggins, who has died aged 60, have said he was "a true champion for the disadvantaged" and "a man of enormous human kindness".

Mr Goggins, the MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East and a former Northern Ireland and Home Office minister, died a week after he collapsed while out running.

Andy Burnham, Labour MP for Leigh, said he was "devastated" at losing a "true friend and guide".

"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 a true champion for the disadvantaged and dispossessed [and] was everything a good MP should be and someone in politics for the right reasons."

'Wonderful, decent and kind'

Greater Manchester's Police and Crime Commissioner and former Manchester MP Tony Lloyd also paid tribute to his "good friend".

"The world has lost a man of enormous decency and human kindness," he said.

He added that Manchester had "lost a great son [and] those who are dispossessed and those who are vulnerable in an increasingly unfair society have lost a great champion".

The leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese, said: "Paul was an exceptional MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East. He was always available and campaigned devotedly for Wythenshawe.

"Anyone who knew him would tell you that he was a genuinely nice man, which is not something you would always hear about a national politician."

Labour MP for Manchester Central Lucy Powell said Mr Goggins was "a wonderful, decent and kind man, loved by all who knew him".

She said he was "passionate about Manchester, his home city, and his drive to improve life for his constituents never diminished".

A man of faith, Mr Goggins's constituency is in the diocese of Shrewsbury.

The Bishop of Shrewsbury, the Right Reverend Mark Davies, whose diocese includes Mr Goggins' constituency, said he was "deeply saddened" by the MP's death, a sadness which he "shared with his constituents".

"Paul's public life and service was motivated so much by his faith and his contribution to local and national life will be greatly missed," he said.

Manchester City, where the MP was a season ticket holder, tweeted its "sincere condolences" to his family.

A book of condolence will be opened for Mr Goggins at Wythenshawe Forum.

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