TRIBUTES have been paid following the death of former Hemel Hempstead MP Robin Corbett.
Lord Corbett of Castle Vale, who was Labour MP for the town between 1974 and 1979 but continued to live in Piccotts End, has died of cancer at the age of 78.
Zena Bullmore, president of Dacorum Hospital Action Group, said: “The death of Robin Corbett, Lord Corbett, a well-earned honour, is a painful loss to those of us who knew and loved him for his commitment to his fellows.
“He was a true socialist in every sense, ready to lend a hand whenever he could and campaigning inside and outside Parliament for the betterment of the needy and for justice.”
Margaret Coxage, former councillor and fundraising officer for the constituency Labour Party, said: “He had that ability to do things no other MP had ever done. He used to hire empty shops in the Marlowes and open them up to have his surgeries.
“He got his name into the papers, he made himself conspicuous. He was a smashing guy, ready for a laugh, very committed to the Labour Party and very supportive of us in everything we were doing.”
Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning said: “I was sorry to hear of the death of Lord Corbett and I send my condolences to his family and friends. They are in my thoughts and prayers at this time.
“By all accounts he was a highly thought of and respected local MP who served the area well and I often come across people who remember him as a good local MP.”
After losing his seat in 1979, Lord Corbett returned to parliament in 1983, representing Birmingham Erdington.
He held this seat until his retirement from the Commons at the 2001 general election, when he became a life peer.