Labour MP Paul Goggins has died a week after collapsing while out running.
The 60-year-old MP for the Greater Manchester seat of Wythenshawe and Sale East died last night in Salford Hospital.
His wife Wyn and three grown-up children were by his bedside in hospital, where he had received treatment for a suspected brain haemorrhage after collapsing while running with his son on December 30.
In a statement released to the Manchester Evening News, his family said: “Last night Paul Goggins, our dear dad and husband, died in hospital in Salford with us by his side. 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.
“We would also like to thank the media for continuing to respect our privacy at such a difficult time.”
Alliance MP Naomi Long tweeted shortly after the news broke: “Truly saddened at the death of Paul Goggins MP. A true gentleman, with a heart for NI who served the public with integrity and grace.”
Grand Secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Drew Nelson, paid tribute to Mr Goggins’ ‘understanding’ during his time working with the organisations within Northern Ireland.
“The Institution worked closely with Mr Goggins during his tenure as Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office and always found him to be one of the most constructive and understanding elected representatives to work with,” he said.
“Paul was a very hard working minister and a man of great integrity, who was 100 per cent committed to doing his best for all the people of Northern Ireland.
“His death is a grave loss to British politics in general and to Northern Ireland politics in particular.
“On behalf of the Orange Institution, our sympathy and condolences go to Paul’s family at this deeply traumatic time.”