The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP, has announced the death of Jim Dobbin, Labour MP for Heywood and Middleton. He had been a Member of Parliament since 1997. He was 73.
Mr Bercow told Members in the House of Commons Chamber:
"It is with great sadness that I have to announce the sudden death of our colleague Jim Dobbin, Member of Parliament for Heywood and Middleton, whilst on a Council of Europe visit to Poland.
"Before being elected to the House in 1997, Jim worked as a microbiologist for 33 years. He was elected as a councillor to the metropolitan borough of Rochdale council in 1983, becoming group leader in 1994.
"Jim was an assiduous, independent-minded and principled parliamentarian, who enjoyed respect in all parts of the House. He will be sadly missed.
"We send our condolences to Jim's wife of 50 years, Pat, and to their four children Patrick, Barry, Mary and Kerry."
Image: PA/Clive Gee