Minute’s silence and tributes paid as MPs mourn Jack Dromey

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MPs have mourned the loss of Jack Dromey by paying tributes and holding a minute’s silence.

Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle led the Commons in paying their respects to the Labour MP, who died in his flat in his Birmingham constituency on Friday.

Shadow communities secretary Lisa Nandy said: “Mr Speaker, can I thank you for your kind words about Jack Dromey who should have been with us today – there is a space over there that I know Jack would have occupied.

“Back in the 70s, horrified by the spectacle of a skyscraper in London that lay empty while people slept rough underneath it, Jack was one of those who occupied Centre Point Tower in protest.

“He was never afraid to speak truth to power, and I hope today marks the start of all of us across the House invoking his spirit.”

Communities Secretary Michael Gove agreed with Ms Nandy’s “generous and fitting” tribute.

Mr Gove added: “He was a relentless campaigner for social justice throughout his career.”

Earlier, Sir Lindsay said: “I regret to have to report to the House the death of our friend Jack Dromey, member for Birmingham Erdington.

“I know honourable members in all parts of the House will join me in mourning the loss of our colleague and extending our sympathy to the honourable member’s family and friends.”

He added there will be an opportunity for MPs to pay tribute to Mr Dromey “at a later date, to be determined in consultation with the family”.

Defence minister Leo Docherty opened defence questions by associating himself with the Speaker’s tribute, and expressed his “deepest sympathy” to Mr Dromey’s wife – Labour MP Harriet Harman – and the rest of his family.

The father-of-three had represented Birmingham Erdington since 2010. He is understood to have died from natural causes, having contributed to a Parliament debate as recently as Thursday.

Labour Party Conference 2021
Shadow defence secretary John Healey mourned the death of his Labour colleague (PA)

Labour shadow defence secretary John Healey said: “We mourn deeply on this side his very sad, very sudden death.

“He touched everyone he worked with, everyone has a proud moment of reflection of Jack Dromey’s story and our House and our politics are the poorer without him this week.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “We are sorry for his loss, our condolences are with his family.

“I shall remember Jack with his trademark mac that he often wore and never changed, and also his well-crafted arguments, often against the Government, but nevertheless making a strong, often powerful point.”

Conservative MP for Beckenham Bob Stewart said: “I am very sad about the loss of Jack.

“I have known him since we both served together, him for the unions, me for the military, in Northern Ireland a long time ago.”

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