Jim Dobbin MP, who has died age 73, was Labour Member of Parliament for Heywood and Middleton, Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on North Korea and a committed advocate for the human rights of North Koreans.
Jim worked in the NHS as a microbiologist for three decades, served as a councillor to the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale and was elected to the House of Commons in 1997.
Lord Alton paid tribute to Jim, saying:
“His life long commitment to defending the voiceless, the poor and the marginalised led him to champion unpopular causes at home and overseas. In recent years he had served as Vice Chairman of the All Party Group on North Korea and to participate in the work of other all-party groups.”
“In the House of Commons he was respected on all sides as a principled man who stood up for his deeply held beliefs rather than blindly following the dog whistle of party politics. Throughout his political life he was given unswerving support by his redoubtable wife, Pat, who shared his causes and convictions with equal passion. Their love and commitment to one another gave Jim great strength. Pat and their family will be devastated by Jim’s sudden death and his friends will be holding them all in their thoughts and prayers. May he rest in peace.”
Labour Party leader, Ed Miliband, said:
“Jim’s death is a sad day for parliament. He was a dedicated public servant, representing the people of Rochdale on the council and at Westminster for three decades. Working in the NHS for more than 30 years, Jim had a deep passion for helping others.”
“I will miss Jim’s good friendship and decency. On behalf of the Labour party, I offer our sincere condolences to his wife, Pat, and their children. We will all miss him.”