Labour MP Jack Dromey died suddenly in his flat in Birmingham on Friday morning, a statement issued on behalf of the 73-year-old shadow minister’s family said.

MPs from across the political spectrum paid tribute to the 73-year-old former trade unionist and offered their condolences to his wife, the party grandee Harriet Harman (below).

The National:

In the statement, the family said: “He had been a dedicated Member of Parliament for Birmingham Erdington since 2010.

“He was a much loved husband, father and grandfather, and he will be greatly missed.”

The National:

Dromey, centre, takes a selfie with Eddie Izzard on the campaign trail

On Twitter, Jack's son Joe paid tribute to his father. "Our dad - Jack - died suddenly today. We loved him so, so much. Rest in peace big man x"

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “The proud son of Irish parents, Jack Dromey dedicated his life to standing up for working people through the Labour movement, becoming deputy general secretary of the UK’s largest trade union and then a Labour MP.

“From supporting the strike at the Grunwick film processing laboratory, when he met Harriet, through to being elected to represent Birmingham Erdington in 2010, Jack lived his commitment to social justice every day.

“Jack was recognised for his determination to stand up for his constituents and he was highly respected and warmly regarded across Parliament.

“My thoughts and those of the whole Labour movement are with Harriet, their children and all those who knew and loved Jack.

On Thursday, Jack contributed to a Westminster Hall debate on the Afghan citizens resettlement scheme in his role as shadow Home Office minister, to which he was appointed last month.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said: “We are all in disbelief that the life-force that was Jack Dromey has died – this is another sad day for the House and a bad start to the year.

“He was a great guy, down to Earth, always positive and always looking to support and save jobs.

“At his heart he was a devoted husband, father and grandfather – so all our thoughts go to Harriet and the rest of the family at this very sad time.”

Jack, who was the deputy general secretary of the Unite union before becoming an MP, joined the Labour frontbench as shadow housing minister in 2010 under then Labour leader Ed Miliband.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said he was “shocked and heart-broken” by the MP’s death.