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Former Labour MP Andrew Miller dies aged 70

The senior Labour party figure served as an MP for 23 years under five Labour leaders

Andrew Miller, former Labour MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston (Ben Curtis/PA)
Andrew Miller, former Labour MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston (Ben Curtis/PA)

By George Ryan, PA Political Reporter

Labour colleagues have paid tribute to the former Labour MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, Andrew Miller, who has died at the age of 70.

Mr Miller served for 23 years, having been first elected to the Cheshire seat in 1992 defeating the Tory candidate.

He was re-elected four times before he stepped down in 2015.

The current MP for Mr Miller’s old seat, Justin Madders, said Ellesmere Port and Neston was a “much better place for his involvement”.

I knew his constituents thought highly of him but one thing that really struck me when I took over from him as MP was just how well thought of he was in Parliament as well Justin Madders

In 2010, Mr Miller was confirmed as the first Chair of the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee, a position he held until he stood down as an MP.

He was also a former chairman of the Commons Regulatory Reform Committee.

In a statement to the PA news agency, Mr Madders said: “Everyone who knew Andrew will be deeply saddened to hear of his passing.

“He served the constituency with distinction for 23 years and everywhere within it are reminders of projects he helped bring to fruition with his unrivalled ability to pull people together behind a shared goal. There is no doubt Ellesmere Port and Neston was a much better place for his involvement.

“I have known him for almost as long as I have been in the Labour Party and during that time he has always been a source of wisdom and advice.

“I knew his constituents thought highly of him but one thing that really struck me when I took over from him as MP was just how well thought of he was in Parliament as well. Nobody there had a bad word to say about him which in politics is a rare if not unique thing.

“He conducted himself there just as he did everywhere else, with dignity and decency. Whoever you were you always got treated with the same courtesy and respect by Andrew and his genuine kindness and warmth shone through.

“He was a great friend and mentor to me and I have no doubt there are many many people involved in politics in this region who have benefitted from his guidance. My thoughts are with Fran and the family at this time.”

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Cherie Blair, wife of ex-PM Tony Blair, and Andrew Miller with local children from his constituency at Downing Street

In one of his final Commons speeches in 2015, Mr Miller highlighted his work to improve rights for temporary and agency workers through introducing a private members bill in 2007.

He also thanked his family and wife Fran who he said “stuck with me through thick and thin”.

He added: “It has been an extraordinary 23 years, and I have enjoyed every single minute of it.”

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Peter Luff, ex-Tory MP for Worcester (left) and Andrew Miller, who both took part in the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme, which was filmed by the BBC (BBC/PA Archive)

Labour colleagues have paid tribute to Mr Miller on Twitter, including Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham who called him a “stalwart”.

He said: “‘Windy’ Miller was a dear friend to us all. Always there for me when I needed him. A stalwart of the North West PLP. So sad to hear this news. Love to Fran and the family.”

Chester MP Chris Matheson said Mr Miller had been a friend and mentor to him personally.

In a tweet, he said: “I am deeply, deeply saddened to hear of the news of the death of Andrew Miller, who has been over 25 years a friend and mentor, who did so much for Cheshire, and so much to promote science in Parliament. All my love to Fran and the family.”

Ex-Delyn MP David Hanson said Mr Miller was the “best of the labour movement”.

He posted a tribute on Twitter, which read: “This is incredibly sad news and my heart goes out to Fran and the family. Andrew was a good friend over 38 years before we were both elected in 1992 and in parliament – he was simply the best of the labour movement.”

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Andrew Miller was first elected in 1992 (Ben Curtis/PA)

Mr Miller was born in Isleworth, west London, in 1949, and was educated in Malta and later Hampshire.

He earned a diploma in industrial relations from the London School of Economics and worked as a laboratory technician at the then Portsmouth Polytechnic.

He was a former official of the Manufacturing, Science and Finance (MSF) trades union before he entered Parliament in 1992.

PA

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