Today is a sad day.
I, along with many other people, will be attending the funeral at Salford Cathedral of Paul Goggins, the Labour MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East.
You cannot say this about many politicians, but I have never heard a bad word said about Paul from any politician on either side of the House of Commons.
He was a very courteous Minister, and always treated Ministers with respect in opposition. Even when he disagreed with you.
It is a testament to his qualities that, as a Northern Ireland minister, he was held in the highest esteem by Leaders of all the many political parties there.
Apart from being neighbouring MP, we also had several common interests. We campaign together to secure MOSI’s future, and on the day of his death, we had jointly signed an amendment on the Mesothelioma Compensation Bill.
We also had a common interest in football, both being Manchester City fans.
Paul was one of the good guys, and will be sorely missed on all sides of the House. My thoughts go out to his family and close friends at this difficult time.