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Former Bassetlaw Labour MP Joe Ashton dies aged 86

Joe Ashton dies aged 86. Credit: PA Images.

The former Labour MP for Bassetlaw has died at the age of 86 on March 30.

Joe Ashton's family said his death was unrelated to coronavirus and that he had been suffering from dementia.

The COVID-19 restrictions meant his daughter Lucy Ashton, a journalist from Sheffield, couldn't be with him during his final hours and the funeral will be limited to just her and her husband.

Ms. Ashton has written an obituary to pay tribute to her father.

I wasn't able to be with him at the end because of Covid-19. The funeral will just be me and my husband and I can't even buy flowers.

So I wrote this because it's the only way I can pay tribute to him and say goodbye. RIP Dad.

– Lucy Ashton, Daughter

Joe Ashton represented the Nottinghamshire seat of Bassetlaw for 33 years and has been described by Lord Mann, who succeeded Mr Ashton as MP for Basseltlaw, as the "personification of a breed of MPs no longer around these days. Blunt, funny, opinionated and working class."

Mr. Ashton grew up in Sheffield and and went on to become an award-winning national newspaper columnist, author, playwright and director of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, as well as a politician.

He grew up in poverty in Sheffield and never lost sight of the suffering and struggles people endure in and out of work and this guided his political life. He was a huge character and leaves a rich and lasting legacy. He will be sadly missed.

My thoughts are with his family at this difficult time - his daughter Lucy and son-in-law Kevin and their two children."

– Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Leader

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