Sir Tony Lloyd obituary


The Labour MP and former International Workplace minister Sir Tony Lloyd, who has died aged 73 of blood most cancers, was a well-liked politician who represented three completely different constituencies within the Manchester space for a complete of 36 years throughout 5 many years. He was “Mr Manchester”, a faithful son of town who spent 5 years out of parliament because the elected police and crime commissioner (PCC) for Larger Manchester earlier than returning to the Commons in 2017 because the member for Rochdale.

He was instilled by his upbringing with a way of public service and the probabilities provided by politics, as soon as saying: “I’ve at all times thought: if not preventing for what is correct and simply, then what’s politics for?” It was an strategy that received him belief and admiration from his constituents and widespread respect throughout all events within the Home of Commons.

He was not bothered in regards to the pursuit of private promotion, however was a well-informed and extremely principled pragmatist – an perspective that was mirrored in his election because the chair of the Parliamentary Labour celebration (2006-12).

Lloyd had a exceptional report as a busy and efficient constituency MP, who additionally spent 20 years on the frontbenches at Westminster and was, as well as, a dedicated internationalist. His new 12 months message in the latest version of the Rochdale Observer, revealed 4 days earlier than his demise, lined occasions in Gaza, employees morale within the NHS, local weather change and training points in Rochdale. Within the final weeks earlier than Christmas within the Commons, he spoke on arms exports to Israel, Rwanda, his issues about non-public renting and the usage of pre-payment meters.

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Tony Lloyd at his residence in Manchester in 2020 recovering together with his household after being handled in hospital for Covid-19. {Photograph}: Christopher Thomond/The Guardian

All through his life he fought for a greater deal for the north-west of England and specifically for Manchester. It was due to his longstanding concern about crime that he resigned as MP for Manchester Central in 2012 to face efficiently within the first election for town’s PCC. For 2 years from 2015 he mixed this publish with that of the interim mayor of Larger Manchester, however was then defeated by Andy Burnham for the Labour candidacy in the primary mayoral election in 2017 – a task that subsumed the duties of the PCC.

Born in Stretford, Tony was the fourth of 5 youngsters of Sydney Lloyd, a lithographic printer, and Cecily (nee Boatte), an administrative officer. His father died when he was 13 and Tony’s politics had been fashioned by his mom, who was a Labour activist. He had an aunt who was a Labour county councillor on Humberside and he joined the Labour celebration on the age of 16.

From Moss Park and Seymour major colleges and Stretford grammar faculty he went on to Nottingham College to take a BSc in arithmetic, and Manchester Enterprise Faculty for a diploma in enterprise administration. After working as a trainee accountant he was a lecturer within the division of enterprise administration at Salford College (1979-83).

Elected to Trafford metropolitan borough council in 1979, the place he was a member till 1984, he turned deputy chief of the Labour group. He first entered parliament within the 1983 common election for Stretford, a seat previously held by the Tory MP Winston Churchill Jr, grandson of the prime minister, who had moved constituencies after boundary adjustments that benefited Labour.

In his maiden speech Lloyd bemoaned the shortage of funding by the non-public sector in his constituency, which he described as certainly one of nice vitality but additionally struggling “great issues”, together with 40% unemployment in Moss Facet. Additional boundary adjustments abolished the Stretford constituency in 1997, and within the election that 12 months he received Manchester Central, the place he stayed till changing into PCC. He had already been re-selected, in 2022, for the subsequent election.

The vary of Lloyd’s frontbench appointments mirrored his evident capabilities. He joined the whips’ workplace in 1986 after which in 1988 turned a spokesman on transport (1988-89), on employment (1988-92; 1993-94) and on training (1992-94). From 1994 he was on the atmosphere workforce, coping with native authorities for a 12 months, after which spent two years because the deputy spokesman on overseas affairs.

When Labour took workplace in 1997, Tony Blair appointed him minister of state on the FCO with duty for Africa, the Balkans and Latin America. He misplaced this publish in a reshuffle in the summertime of 1999, following criticism by the Commons’ overseas affairs choose committee of Britain’s function within the provision of arms in the course of the Sierra Leone civil conflict.

By this time, nonetheless, Lloyd – who had not voted for Blair within the management election – was often known as a supporter of Gordon Brown within the more and more hostile division that had grown among the many celebration elite.

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Tony Lloyd, left, shaking arms with the pinnacle of the Albanian negotiating workforce, Mahmut Bakali, earlier than beginning their talks in Pristina, Kosovo. {Photograph}: Srdjan Suki/EPA

Lloyd himself was a centre-left loyalist inside the celebration however was at all times ready to insurgent on problems with precept. He voted in opposition to the Blair authorities on the Iraq conflict; in opposition to the detention of suspected terrorists with out trial; on the imposition of pupil tuition charges; and on the renewal of the Trident nuclear missile. He voted in opposition to the Brown authorities determination to axe plans for a “tremendous on line casino” for east Manchester, which he insisted would have introduced employment to town.

Between 2002 and 2007, Lloyd led the British delegation to the Council of Europe, of which he was a vice-president, and likewise to the Western European Union. From 2005 to 2012 he was the main member of Britain’s illustration on the Organisation for Safety and Co-operation in Europe.

When he returned to the Commons in 2017, he was appointed by Jeremy Corbyn because the shadow spokesman on housing and in 2018 he took over as shadow secretary of state for Northern Eire. After the 2019 election, he added shadow Scottish secretary to his temporary. He was reappointed to Northern Eire by Sir Keir Starmer, however he stood down in 2020 to recuperate from Covid-19, for which he was handled in Manchester Royal Infirmary, spending 10 days in intensive care on a ventilator.

He was at all times an assiduous MP, introducing many non-public members’ payments in an effort to attract consideration to points with which he was involved. These included an try and ban overseas possession of the British media; to introduce direct elections to well being authorities; to determine a regional meeting within the north-west of England; to permit random highway breath-testing; and to reform the leasehold system.

He was a member of the choose committees on social safety (1983-85); residence affairs (1985-87); European scrutiny (2010-11); worldwide commerce (2021-23) and Northern Eire (from 2022). For a decade from 2002 he chaired the commerce union group of Labour MPs.

He was knighted within the Queen’s birthday honours in 2021. For the e-book Males Who Made Labour, revealed in 2006 to mark the centenary of the adoption of the Labour celebration identify in parliament, he wrote two chapters, on John Robert Clynes and George Kelley, elected as Manchester MPs in 1906.

In 1974 he married Judith Tear, who survives him with their youngsters, Angharad, Siobhan, Kieron and Ali, and granddaughters, Carmen and Carys.


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