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Tributes are paid to Paul Goggins

Tributes are paid to Paul Goggins

TRIBUTES have been paid to the former Northern Ireland Office minister Paul Goggins who has passed away. He was 60.

The Labour MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, Greater Manchester, had been in hospital for just over a week since collapsing while out jogging.

In a statement, his family said they were completely heartbroken. They also thanked staff at Salford Royal who had cared for the MP. The family’s statement continued: “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.”

Before entering politics, Mr. Goggins had trained as a social worker and had run a children’s home. He served as a councillor in Salford and at one point was director of the Church Action on Poverty Campaign.

He first entered Parliament in 1997 and served on the House of Commons Social Security Select Committee before being appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Social Security minister John Denham. He then served as PPS to David Blunkett during his ministerial spells at Education and then the Home Office.

Mr. Goggins was appointed as Minister for Prisons and Probation at the Home Office in 2003 and eventually had responsibility for serious and organised crime. 

His time at the Northern Ireland Office, where he initially had responsibility for health, prisons and security, began in May 2006. A year later he was appointed Minister of State for Northern Ireland.

Tributes to the MP were led by the Labour leader David Miliband in the House of Commons. He told MPs: “The Labour Party has lost one of its most dignified, humane, wise and loyal MPs. People from all sides of the House of Commons had the greatest affection, admiration and genuine respect for Paul. We are deeply saddened by his passing.”

Mr. Miliband added: “Paul was a man of deep faith whose commitment and strong values shone through everything he did”.

Prime Minister David Cameron also paid tribute, describing the MP as “a kind and a brilliant man”.

Mr. Goggins is survived by his wife and three children.

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