Sir Tony Lloyd
During his Commons career, Lloyd was a junior minister for some of former prime minister Sir Tony Blair’s first term in office. UK Parliament

Veteran Labour MP Sir Tony Lloyd has died aged 73. The long-serving politician, who has been the MP for Rochdale since 2017, was diagnosed with blood cancer four years ago.

A few weeks ago, he announced it had turned into an aggressive and untreatable form of leukaemia, and he was leaving the hospital to "spend the time I have left with my family".

In a post on social media, his relatives said he "died peacefully" at home on Wednesday morning.

"We would like to thank all the dedicated doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants and other hospital staff who have provided him with care, as well as the blood and platelet donors who gave him an extra four years of life," the statement read.

He was still working a few days before his death, according to his family.

MPs from both sides of the Commons have been quick to offer their condolences and heaped praise on Lloyd's political career.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: "The death of Sir Tony Lloyd today is a terrible loss. I know the entire Labour Party, and many beyond the party, join me in sending our deepest condolences to Tony's wife, Judith, his children, Siobhan, Angharad, Kieron and Ali, and his granddaughters, Carmen and Carys."

"Like them, we will remember his deep commitment to Labour values and his decency. We will always be grateful for his dedication to public life, his devotion to his country and his desire to make the world a better, fairer place. In the Labour Party, we will honour his legacy of service to others and his commitment to justice."

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak replied to the family's statement on X, describing it as "very sad news".

"My thoughts are with Sir Tony's family, friends and the people of Manchester to whom he was devoted throughout his life," the PM added.

Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle paid tribute to his "friend for almost 30 years", saying: "Tony was the best of us – and I will miss him."

He added: "Not only is his death a tragedy for his family and those who were so fond of him, but particularly for the House of Commons.

"When he was a shadow foreign affairs minister, he came out to Chorley to canvass for me – using his charm and great humour to persuade the voters that I should be their next MP.

"He was just a genuinely nice, all-round good guy, who even at the height of his cancer treatment made sure the good people of Rochdale were well served."

Born in Stretford, Greater Manchester in 1950, Sir Tony first became a Labour MP in 1983.

He then served as foreign minister between 1997 and 1999.

After a shift in boundaries, he represented Manchester Central until 2012, at which point he decided to move away from Westminster to return to local politics and run as his region's police and crime commissioner – overseeing one of the largest forces in the UK.

Following a short stint as the interim mayor for Greater Manchester, he also ran to become the Labour Party candidate for the mayoral elections, but he came second to Andy Burnham.

He was later appointed shadow housing minister under Jeremy Corbyn and became chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

In 2020, he was admitted to intensive care after contracting COVID-19, causing him to stand down from the shadow cabinet to focus on his recovery.

He was knighted in the Queen's 2021 birthday honours for parliamentary services.

A one-minute silence was held in the House of Commons earlier today, as MPs paid their respects.