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Mark Thomas / Alamy Stock Photo
Frank Field.jpg
Mark Thomas / Alamy Stock Photo
World News

Tributes pour in for Christian and former Labour minister Frank Field who has died aged 81

by Kelly Valencia

Tributes are pouring for former Labour MP and Minister Frank Field, who has passed away aged 81 after several years of being treated for cancer.

Lord Field’s family announced the news in a statement on his social media platforms, paying tribute to his 40 years as an MP and his strong Christian faith.

"His decency and faith in people's self-interested altruism made a unique contribution to British politics,” the statement read.

"He will be mourned by admirers across politics but above all he will be greatly missed by those lucky enough to have enjoyed his laughter and friendship.”

The politician served as a Welfare Minister under Tony Blair from 1997 to 1998, after clashes with other ministers caused him to return to the backbenches.

Sir Tony Blair described him as having “integrity, intelligence, and deep commitment to the causes he believed in” and as an “independent thinker.”

“Even when we disagreed, I had the utmost respect for him as a colleague and a character,” Sir Tony added.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also described Lord Field as a “principled, courageous and independent-minded” man and honoured his four decades of service.

“His honour and integrity were well known and admired,” Starmer said.

After the general election in 2019, Lord Field left the House of Commons because he disagreed with the then-Labour leadership. He then joined the House of Lords in 2020 as a cross-bench peer.

In 2021, he shared he was suffering from cancer and revealed he backed assisted dying. His health continued to deteriorate, and last year, he swore his oath to the King in the House of Lords from a wheelchair.

Lord Field was a strong Christian who was very vocal about his faith. Before becoming a Member of Parliament in 1970, he served a director of the charity Child Poverty Action Group for a decade. He was also a member of the Church of England’s General Synod and chaired the Churches Conservation Trust.

Chief executive of Child Poverty Action Group Alison Garnham said honoured his time leading the charity.

“Frank also helped pave the way for the minimum wage, free school meals and rent allowances for low-income families,  all fundamental social protections .

“Frank was a true champion for children and low-income families and with child poverty at a record high today, families need his like as never before,” she said.

“He will be greatly missed. Our deep sympathy and condolences to those closest to him.”

Christians on the Left also paid tribute to him on X, the group said: “Frank Field was someone whose Christian faith & principles drove his politics, particularly his commitment to the poorest in society; inspired by his vision of the kingdom of God, he did not let ideology get in the way of a politics that helps those who need it most. May he RIP.”


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