Labour Party veteran Sir Tony Lloyd has died aged 73.
The MP for Rochdale, who served as a politician across Greater Manchester for over 40 years, had been receiving treatment for blood cancer.
But in January, he said it had turned into an aggressive and untreatable form of leukaemia, and he was leaving hospital to “spend the time I have left with my family”.
Despite his illness, Sir Tony ended his message by reassuring his constituents his office would remain open to ensure they were still supported.
Image: He was appointed a foreign minister in the early years of the Blair government Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “The death of Sir Tony Lloyd today is a terrible loss. I know the entire Labour Party, and many beyond the Party, join me in sending our deepest condolences to Tony’s wife, Judith, his children, Siobhan, Angharad, Kieron and Ali, and his granddaughters, Carmen and Carys.
“Like them, we will remember his deep commitment to Labour values and his decency. We will always be grateful for his dedication to public life, his devotion to his country and his desire to make the world a better, fairer place. In the Labour Party, we will honour his legacy of service to others and his commitment to justice.
“May he rest in peace.”
Sir Tony was born in Stretford, Greater Manchester, in 1950 and attended the local grammar school, before going to the University of Nottingham to study maths.
But he returned to Manchester to get an MBA and later became a business studies lecturer at the University of Salford.
His political career began in 1979 when he won a seat on the Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council, but come 1983, he had turned to national politics, representing his home constituency of Stretford until 1997.
Image: Sir Tony was a strong campaigner – pictured here (middle) with fellow Manchester MPs as they fought for the release of Nelson Mandela After a shift in boundaries, he then represented Manchester Central until 2012, when he decided to move away from Westminster to return to local politics and run as his region’s police and crime commissioner – overseeing one of the largest forces in the UK.
Following a short stint as the interim mayor for Greater Manchester, he also ran to become the Labour Party candidate for the mayoral elections, but he came second to Andy Burnham.
However, he used the opportunity to return to parliament, serving the constituency of Rochdale from 2017.
Image: Sir Tony hoped to become mayor of Greater Manchester, but Andy Burnham won Labour’s nomination During his Westminster career, Sir Tony served as a foreign minister in the early years of Tony Blair’s government, and later became the chair of the parliamentary Labour Party.
While on the opposition benches, he held a huge range of roles, from education through to housing, but most recently served as shadow Scotland secretary in Sir Keir Starmer’s frontbench team.
After being struck by COVID at the height of the pandemic and being put on a ventilator for 10 days, he decided to step back from his role to recover fully, but he remained a dedicated backbench constituency MP.