Tributes paid to former Waveney Labour MP Bob Blizzard who has died aged 71

Bob Blizzard at the 2015 General Election count where he stood again but failed to recapture his seat. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Tributes have been paid to the former Waveney MP Bob Blizzard, who has died aged 71.

The Labour MP represented constituents on the Norfolk-Suffolk border between 1997 and 2010 and during his time as an MP he fought tirelessly for a third crossing for Lowestoft.

Political opponents and colleagues have paid tribute to Mr Blizzard, with the Labour leader Keir Starmer describing him as "an inspiration to so many".

On Twitter, he said: "It is incredibly sad to learn of Bob Blizzard’s death. "His committed service to the people of Waveney made him an inspiration to so many in the Labour Party across Suffolk. "He brought his joy for life to everything he did. My thoughts are with his family and friends."

Despite not achieving his goal of third crossing during his time as an MP, the much-needed crossing over the town's Lake Lothing was finally approved in 2015.

The Gull Wing bridge aiming to reduce congestion in the town will be complete next year.

Writing on Twitter, his successor as Waveney MP Peter Aldous said he was "terribly sad" to hear of Mr Blizzard's death.

He added: "He was a formidable political opponent, a man who held passionate and strong beliefs and was a staunch advocate for Waveney.

"My condolences are with his family and loved ones."