Funeral of Sheffield MP Harry Harpham to take place today
Hundreds are expected to gather at Sheffield Cathedral today for the funeral of 'inspirational' miner, Harry Harpham MP.
The funeral of the former Clipstone Colliery miner will take place at Sheffield Cathedral from 12.15pm today, followed by a private cremation.
The Brightside and Hillsborough MP lost his battle with cancer on February 4.
He was diagnosed just a few months after he won his seat at the general election.
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.
Following the death of Mr Harpham, who served the city in several roles over the years including as Deputy Leader of Sheffield Council, tributes have flooded in for the former University of Sheffield student.
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.
Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn said: "To the very end, Harry Harpham was fighting for working people in parliament. What a decent man he was. Condolences to his family."
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.”