abour MP Jack Dromey died suddenly in his flat in Birmingham on Friday, the shadow minister’s family has said.
The father-of-three, who was married to party grandee Harriet Harman, is understood to have died from natural causes.
The 73-year-old had represented Birmingham Erdington since 2010 and contributed to a Parliament debate as recently as Thursday.
A statement issued by the Labour Party on behalf of Mr Dromey’s family said: “Jack Dromey MP died suddenly this morning aged 73 in his flat in Erdington.
“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.”
Mr Dromey and Ms Harman’s son Joe tweeted: “Our dad – Jack – died suddenly today.
“We loved him so, so much.
“Rest in peace big man x.”
Ms Harman, who served as deputy Labour leader between 2007 and 2015, announced last month that she will not run for her Camberwell and Peckham seat in the next general election.
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.”
Boris Johnson has said he was “deeply saddened” by the death.
The Prime Minister wrote in a tweet: “Deeply saddened to hear of the death of Jack Dromey MP.
“My thoughts are with Harriet and the family, and all those who knew him as a friend. May he rest in peace.”
Andy Burnham, the mayor of Manchester, voiced his shock as he paid tribute to Mr Dromey, who he said had been “at the heart of the Labour movement”.
He told Sky News: “I’m really genuinely shocked and deeply saddened to hear this news. Jack was a lovely person.”
Mr Burnham added: “He was a dedicated campaigner for justice all through his life.”
Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said MPs were in “disbelief that the life-force that was Jack Dromey has died”.
In a statement, Sir Lindsay 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.
“I have known Jack since the mid-1980s when we fought to save the Royal Ordnance Factory in Chorley, he was national officer for the Transport and General Workers’ Union, and I was chair of economic development at Chorley Council.
“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.”
Former prime minister Sir Tony Blair has remembered Mr Dromey as “hugely likeable” and a “complete stalwart of the Labour and trade union movement”.
The former Labour leader said: “I am absolutely shocked and greatly saddened by the news about Jack. I have known him for almost 40 years.
“He was a complete stalwart of the Labour and trade union movement, who dedicated his life to the service of others whether in his work for his trade union or in later years as a Member of Parliament.
“He was also hugely likeable, a very popular colleague and well respected by all who worked with him. Cherie joins me in sending profound condolences to Harriet and all the family.”
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has said he is “shocked and heartbroken” by the Mr Dromey’s sudden death.
Mr Zahawi wrote in a tweet: “Shocked and heart broken by the news of the sudden death of Jack Dromey MP. He was a friend, thoughts and prayers with @HarrietHarman and the family.”