Former Labour minister Frank Field has died

Former Labour minister and crossbench peer Frank Field has died aged 81, his family has announced. He will be mourned by admirers across politics but above all he will be greatly missed by those lucky enough to have enjoyed his laughter and friendship,” a statement said.

Lord Field spent 40 years as MP for Birkenhead and was a leading voice on welfare reform for much of his career. He was a minister under Tony Blair and joined the House of Lords in 2020. A statement from Lord Field of Birkenhead’s family, issued by his Parliamentary office, said he had died following a period of illness.

Frank was an extraordinary individual who spent his life fighting poverty, injustice and environmental destruction,” the statement said. His decency and faith in people’s self-interested altruism made a unique contribution to British politics.” The politician announced in 2021 that he was suffering from a terminal illness. He died in a London care home on Tuesday night.

Lord Field briefly served as minister for welfare reform in Tony Blair’s first term in government.
Paying tribute, Sir Tony said in a statement: “Frank had integrity, intelligence and deep commitment to the causes he believed in.

“He was an independent thinker never constrained by conventional wisdom, but always pushing at the frontier of new ideas.

“Even when we disagreed, I had the utmost respect for him as a colleague and a character.”Labour MP Harriet Harman, who was secretary of state for social security when Lord Field was a minister in the department, said he was “clever, persistent and caring”.

“At Frank’s core was the conviction that poverty was never to be accepted and could be ended,” she added. Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting described him as “a great parliamentarian, crusader for social justice and source of wise counsel”.

“What a blessing to have known him and benefited from his advice and kindness, even as his illness gripped him,” he said.Dame Angela Eagle, MP for neighbouring constituency Wallasey, said on social media: “Very sad news. Always supportive of me as his Parliamentary neighbour, brimming with ideas to make society better – a great champion of his Birkenhead constituents.”

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said: “[Lord Field] was neither cowed by the establishment or whips – which made his campaigns against hunger and food poverty, for climate change and the church, even more effective.” He added: “Suffice to say, he was one of a kind and he will be sorely missed

Source: BBC

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