A public funeral for Wythenshawe and Sale East MP Paul Goggins will be held at Salford Cathedral, starting at 12 Noon on Thursday 16 January.
The 60-year-old MP, who has served the area since 1997, collapsed on 30 December while out running with his son near his Salford home.
The MP’s family broke the sad news with the following statement:
“Last night (7 Jan) 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.
Wyn, Matthew, Theresa and Dominic Goggins.”
A subdued House of Commons heard the news of the death of the Wythenshawe and Sale East MP last Wednesday morning (8 January)
Speaking in the House, Prime Minister David Cameron said:
‘’He was a kind and a brilliant man who believed profoundly in public service. Paul cared deeply about the welfare of children and about the importance of social work and he brought his own very clear experience to bear as an MP and as a Minister.
He did vital work as a Northern Ireland Minister, playing a quiet but essential role in delivering the absolutely essential devolution of policing and justice powers in Northern Ireland…He was liked and admired right across the House and always treated everyone – in whatever circumstances – always treated everyone with respect. He’ll be greatly missed and we send our condolences to his wife Wyn, to his children, and to his family.’’
Labour leader Ed Miliband issued the following statement in tribute:
“Paul’s family is devastated and heartbroken by his death. They are not alone. 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.
“Our thoughts and our deep condolences go out first and foremost to his wife Wyn, and his children, Matthew, Theresa and Dominic. They have lost a husband and a father for whom family was at the heart of everything he held most dear.
“Paul was a man of deep faith whose commitment and strong values shone through everything he did. As a social worker, councillor, MP and Minister, attending to the needs of the most disadvantaged was always at the core of his particularly thoughtful and dedicated service. He was held in great affection by the people of Northern Ireland for his real understanding of the challenges they faced in the aftermath of the Good Friday Agreement.
“I know Paul’s family have been profoundly moved by the outpouring of support, love and affection they have received since Paul fell ill last week. The Labour Party has lost one of its very best and one of its own. We mourn him deeply.”
Friend and colleague Hazel Blears MP issued the following statement:
“I’ve known Paul for over 30 years; we served as councillors on Salford Council together for 8 years, came to Parliament together in 1997 and were both ministers at the same time at the Home Office. We were great friends both politically and personally. He was the kindest, most caring and effective person you could ever hope to meet and he stood up for, and gave a voice to, the most vulnerable people in our community and achieved a great deal for them. My thoughts and prayers are with Paul’s wife Wyn and his children.”
David Blunkett MP, one of Paul Goggins’ closest friends, said:
“All of us are literally in shock. This was someone who was in a different mould to the rest of us. Never in the whole of the years I knew Paul did he ever say anything unpleasant or hurtful about any other human being. He was the kind of person against whom you would benchmark your own values, and personal and political behaviour.
“When someone dies there are often eulogies paid to them that would never have been thought in their lifetime. This is different. What people feel and think now, they thought about Paul Goggins when he was alive.
“We will miss him terribly, but so will public life, given the enormous contribution that he made in the Home Office, in Northern Ireland and, above all, for his constituents and his tireless work in persuading others to do the right thing.’’
Police and Crime Commissioner, and former MP, Tony Lloyd said:
“I have lost a good friend, and the world has lost a man of enormous decency and human kindness. But of course Paul’s wife, his children, and wider family have lost someone who was at the centre of their daily lives and my thoughts go out to them.
“Paul’s own personal faith and moral conviction operated as a guiding light in everything he did, both before he entered politics and as a local councillor, Member of Parliament and Government minister.
“Manchester has lost a great son. Those who are dispossessed and those who are vulnerable in an increasingly unfair society have lost a great champion.’
Paul Goggins family has asked for donations to be made, instead of flowers being sent. Donations can be made to CAFOD, the Cardinal Hume Centre, or Leukaemia Lymphoma Research.
Local people who want to pay their respects can sign a book of condolence at the Forum Library in Wythenshawe.