The family of Sheffield MP Harry Harpham have paid tribute to the ‘inspirational’ former miner.
The Brightside and Hills borough MP lost his battle with cancer, diagnosed just a few months after he won his seat at the general election.
The funeral of the former Clipstone Colliery miner and Sheffield Council deputy leader will take place at Sheffield Cathedral at 12.15pm on Tuesday, February 16, followed by a private cremation.
Harry leaves behind his wife Gill and children Annie, Kieron, Dan, Emily and Victoria and was a doting granddad to his first grandchild Layla Grace.
He is survived by his parents Frieda Annie Trigg, father Richard Harpham, two brothers and four sisters.
His brother Rick said: “Harry was our eldest brother and an inspiration to us all. Throughout family difficulties he showed us all the decent things in life.
“He always stood up for the underdog and what he felt was right.
“Harry was fiercely proud of his union roots. He was an NUM man throughout the miners’ strike and stood firm for a full year at his Nottinghamshire pit, even though many others crossed the picket line, something Harry would never have done.”
He said his brother was the first person in the family to go on to university after he left mining.
Tributes have continued to pour in for Mr Harpham.
Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner said: “He was a good colleague – I first met him when I was fundraising for David Blunkett in Brightside in 2010.
“I was full of admiration for him it and was a real shock when he died.”
Alan Spencer, secretary of Nottinghamshire area of the National Union of Mineworkers, said: “Harry was a coal face worker at Clipstone and was heavily involved in fundraising .
“He left Clipstone after the strike and took a degree in Politics in Sheffield but never forget his roots and worked tirelessly for the cause . He will be sadly missed – he has always been a loyal member of the NUM.”
Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts paid tribute after the Speaker of the House John Bercow praised Mr Harpham for having ‘first fought bravely his illness and then bore it with stoicism and fortitude’.
Mr Betts said: “He will probably be the last coal miner to be elected to this House of Commons.
“As you rightly said, despite the seriousness of his illness he was still here three weeks ago passionately arguing for the steel workers and steel industry of Sheffield.
“I think that was a fitting culmination to years of dedicated service to the people of Sheffield, including delivery of the Decent Homes programme which thousands of our tenants have benefited from.”