Jim Dobbin MP: 1941 – 2014

Jim Dobbin MP, a leading advocate for pro-life issues and traditional marriage, has died unexpectedly aged 73.

The Labour MP is survived by his wife, Pat, of some 50 years, two sons and two daughters.

He commended The Christian Institute’s work, and frequently spoke out against abortion and assisted suicide.

Sad day

Labour leader Ed Miliband said he will “miss Jim’s friendship and decency”, and that his death is a “sad day for Parliament”.

A committed Roman Catholic, Mr Dobbin campaigned on issues including freedom of speech and palliative care in his time as an MP for Heywood and Middleton, in Greater Manchester.

He was one of the first MPs to sign the Coalition for Marriage petition in support of marriage between one man and one woman.

He was also the co-chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group, and in an interview with The Christian Institute in 2009 explained that he had always believed in protecting life from conception to natural death.

Extremely kind

Earlier this year he signed an open letter to The Times warning against the introduction of assisted suicide and also spoke out about the rise in repeat abortions.

Responding to the MP’s death for The Christian Institute, Humphrey Dobson said: “Jim Dobbin was an extremely kind and warm man whose loss will be deeply felt by many.

“His work to defend the unborn was tremendously important, including his leadership of the All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Life group.

Marriage

“He also spoke out bravely and passionately in support of marriage, despite that position being unpopular.

“His tireless support for the pro-life cause, particularly during the passage of the 2008 embryology legislation, showed much determination and courage.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this extremely difficult time.”

Mr Dobbin died at the weekend during a visit to Poland organised by the Council of Europe.

He was born in Kincardine, Fife, and worked as a microbiologist for 33 years before entering Parliament in 1997.