Harry Harpham dead: Sheffield Labour MP dies aged 61

The former miner became an MP in May after many years as a local councillor in Sheffield

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Labour MP Harry Harpham, who represented Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough, has died after succumbing to cancer, the party has said.

The former miner entered Parliament at the general election last year after a long career in local public service, including a stint as deputy leader of Sheffield Council.

The 61-year-old succeeded veteran Labour MP David Blunkett - for whom he served as an election agent for many years

Mr Harpham was a committed trade unionist and as a member of the NUM stood firm on the picket line during the 1984-85 miners' strike at the Nottinghamshire pit he worked at.

After becoming an MP he was appointed a parliamentary aide to shadow Energy Secretary, Lisa Nandy.

Several current and former MPs have tweeted to commerorate Mr Harpham's life and work in politics. 

The politician told the Sheffield Star he was diagnosed with cancer shortly after the party's autumn conference but insisted he was not letting his illness intervene with his constituency work.

He said: "I don’t want to make a big song and dance about it.

"I’m going to work still, and working a lot from home. My surgeries are still running with the help of my staff and I am still meeting all of my commitments.

"To my constituents, which is the most important thing, I’m still available. I’m still functioning properly as an MP."

Mr Harpham leaves behind his wife Gill and children Annie, Kieron, Dan, Emily and Victoria.

Additional reporting by PA