Long-standing Labour MP Paul Flynn dies aged 84

The long-standing Labour MP Paul Flynn has died aged 84, the party has announced.

Mr Flynn, who represented Newport West for 32 years, was described as an “independent thinker” who would be “greatly missed”.

He held several shadow cabinet posts during his parliamentary career, but had not been active in the Commons in recent months.

His local association said in a statement posted to Twitter on Sunday night: “It’s with great sadness that we let you know that our MP, Paul Flynn, has died today.

“Paul is a hero to many of us in the Newport Labour family and we mourn for his family’s loss. We would ask that the privacy of Paul’s family is respected at this difficult time.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “I’m very sad at the passing of my good friend Paul Flynn. He had such love for Newport, knowledge of radical South Wales history and a dry wit.

“He was an independent thinker who was a credit to the Labour Party. He will be greatly missed.”

Mr Flynn, who was a strong advocate for the medicinal use of cannabis, announced in October that he intended to stand down as an MP due to health reasons, telling the Press Association he would “wait for a convenient time to go” and had “loved every minute” of his time in Westminster.

He said at the time: “It’s been a great, wonderful, rich experience. I lasted 31 years.”