Tributes to Durham Miners' Association secretary Dave Hopper who has died

Tributes have been paid to a stalwart of left-wing politics who has died only a week after welcoming Jeremy Corbyn to one of Europe's largest trade union events.

MPs spoke of their sadness at the news that Dave Hopper, secretary of the Durham Miners' Association, has died.

Only on Saturday last week, Mr Hopper was on the same platform as the Labour leader at the Durham Miners' Gala, or Big Meeting, where he strongly backed Mr Corbyn in his struggle to retain control of the party.

Thousands of people packed the streets to take part in the traditional event which sees bands and banners parade through the city centre, ahead of speeches on the show field.

Ian Lavery, Labour MP for Wansbeck and former president of the National Union Mineworkers, tweeted: "Sad news I'm afraid. My very good friend the legendary Durham Miners general secretary Davey Hopper died this afternoon. RIP comrade & friend".

Grahame Morris, Labour MP for Easington, tweeted: "Dave Hopper a colossus of the trade union and labour movement who supported the oppressed & fought for social justice all of his life R.I.P."

Angela Rayner, Labour MP for Ashton, Droylsden & Failsworth, tweeted: "Dave Hopper of the Durham Miners was a giant in the Labour movement and a staunch Socialist, R.I.P. our friend...."