Tributes paid to Ken Purchase after ex-Wolverhampton MP dies
Tributes have been paid to Ken Purchase, the former Labour MP for Wolverhampton North East, who has died aged 77 after a short illness.
He represented the Black Country constituency for 18 years after being elected at the second attempt in 1992.
Before becoming elected to Westminster he was also a Wolverhampton councillor.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair described him as "a kind, gracious man" who "was hugely popular in Parliament and will be sorely missed".
Steve Evans, chairman of the local Labour party, said he would be "sadly missed and fondly remembered" for his commitment to the Black Country.
"He was the kind of guy that wanted to tackle unfairness and challenge inaccuracies," he said.
"You'd be out on the doorstep campaigning with Ken and you'd always lose him, and you'd find he was actually still at the first house where you'd started the door-knocking and he's still trying to challenge and convince someone on the doorstep.
"It was commonly known that if he went to do the weekly shop with his wife Brenda at the local supermarket it could take four or five hours, and that's because he always had time to spend with people and listen to people."
Emma Reynolds, who succeeded Mr Purchase as Wolverhampton North East MP, described him as "a great champion for Wolverhampton".
Politicians and constituents took to Twitter to praise his political work.
Mr Blair added: "Ken was a passionate and effective representative of his beloved Wolverhampton and a lovely Parliamentary colleague. A kind, gracious man who even when he disagreed did so with charm and without meanness of spirit.
"He was hugely popular in Parliament and will be sorely missed and greatly mourned."