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Volume 573: debated on Wednesday 8 January 2014

[Mr Speaker in the Chair]

Business before questions

Death of a Member

I regret to have to report to the House the death of the right hon. Paul Goggins, the Member for Wythenshawe and Sale East. Paul was a most assiduous Member, serving as a Home Office and a Northern Ireland Minister in the last Government, and most recently as a distinguished member of the Intelligence and Security Committee. I am sure that Members in all parts of the House will join me in mourning the loss of a colleague and in extending our sympathy to Paul’s wife, Wyn, his children, Matthew, Theresa and Dominic, his granddaughter, Eve, and his many friends and family.

Paul and I entered the House together, and I can honestly say that I have never heard an ill word spoken of him. Labour to his core, he was, yet, the least tribal of colleagues. Whether battling against poverty, campaigning successfully for the victims of mesothelioma, working for the rehabilitation of prisoners or striving for peace in Northern Ireland, Paul was the same: principled, eloquent and tireless, but unfailingly courteous, measured and respectful. He always played the ball, never the man or the woman.

An outstanding public servant who came into politics for all the right reasons, Paul’s passing is a loss on so many levels. The House has lost a valued colleague, his constituency a faithful representative, his party an outstanding ambassador and, above all, his family a loving husband, father and grandfather.

Prayers for Paul will also be said at the usual 12.45 service today in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft.