Hexham MP Guy Opperman 


LAST week, we heard the devastating news that my Labour friend and colleague, Jack Dromey MP, died suddenly.

I wanted to put in words how bereft I am at the loss of Jack and explain how he exemplified cross-party working in the House of Commons.

Jack was a man who worked for years in the trade unions. Throughout his life, he never stopped campaigning for the causes he cared about.

We were both elected for the first time to Parliament in 2010. Since then, I always noticed his unshakeable commitment to his constituents, and workers, throughout his time in Parliament.

Jack was the Shadow Pensions Minister and my opposite number for three years. We became good friends and would meet regularly to talk about policy and plans every few weeks. We did not agree on everything, but we always disagreed as friends.

Jack was utterly crucial in getting the landmark Pensions Schemes Bill and other important pieces of legislation through Parliament. We particularly worked together on pensions dashboards, Simpler Statements and putting climate change at the heart of pension investing.

Jack showed us all how to do it. He showed that politics does not always have to be adversarial, but rather collaborative with a common goal.

My former Labour colleague, Jo Cox, said "We have more in common than what divides us". Jack showed this every time we worked together.

When my children passed away in the Summer of 2020, he was unbelievably kind. He reached out to me and was helpful in so many ways.

I mourn this gentle but passionate man who existed to change things for the better. It was an honour to know him, and we are poorer for his loss.

My thoughts are with his wife, Harriet Harman, and their family.