In Brief

Britain's oldest serving MP, Gerald Kaufman, dies at 86

Jeremy Corbyn pays tribute to Labour colleague who 'loved life and politics' and 'wanted to bring peace to the Middle East'

Politicians have paid tribute to Britain's oldest serving MP, Sir Gerald Kaufman, who has died at the age of 86.

The Labour veteran had been suffering from a "long-term illness" for several months, said his family, but "remained firmly committed to, and focused on, the activities and wellbeing of his beloved constituency", Manchester Gorton, which he had served since 1970.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said his colleague "came from a proud Jewish background" and "always wanted to bring peace to the Middle East".

He said he had travelled with Kaufman to many countries, adding: "He loved life and politics. I will deeply miss him, both for his political commitment and constant friendship."

Tributes have also come from Commons Speaker John Bercow, who called Kaufman an "outstanding representative" and a "passionate campaigner for social justice, here in Britain and around the world". 

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell praised Kaufman's devotion to his constituents in Manchester Gorton.

"Kaufman's constituency is seen as one of Labour's safest seats and so the by-election resulting from his death is unlikely to cause any headaches for Corbyn," says The Guardian, despite the party leader's troubles after losing Copeland to the Tories last week.

Former Labour and Respect MP George Galloway tweeted: "Very sorry to hear of the death of Sir Gerald Kaufman MP. A brave man. RIP."

Conservative grandee and former chancellor Ken Clarke is now the new "Father of the House", the title given to the MP with the longest continuous service who is not a minister. Clarke was also elected in June 1970 but Sir Gerald held the title as he was sworn in first.

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