Tributes paid to former Waveney Labour MP Bob Blizzard following his death
Tributes have been paid today to a former Suffolk MP following his death.
Bob Blizzard, who was born in Bury St Edmunds and went on to become a Labour MP for Waveney, has died aged 71.
Mr Blizzard had a long political career and started out as a councillor and leader for Waveney District Council, now East Suffolk District Council.
He went on to serve as Waveney's MP from 1997 to 2010 and became Lord Commissioner to the Treasury in October 2008 until he lost is seat.
The politician was also a Lowestoft Town FC Patron and a jazz enthusiast, founding the Lowestoft Jazz Weekend.
Peter Aldous, current MP who won the seat from Mr Blizzard in the 2010 general election, took to social media to pay tribute to his political opponent.
He said: "It's terribly sad to learn of Bob Blizzard's passing. 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."
Many residents have shared tributes following Mr Blizzards death, with one writing, "I remember watching Bob playing involuntary air-drums alongside the live acts on stage at the Sunday jazz club, and I mourn his loss."
Another added: "Wonderful tribute @peter_aldous, he loved Lowestoft and will be missed."
Cllr Craig Rivett, Deputy Leader of East Suffolk Council and former Waveney Cabinet Member, said: "Bob was a hugely important figure in both local and national politics and we are saddened to learn of his passing.
"He was a dedicated public servant who worked hard for the people of Waveney both during his time as the Council's Leader and as a constituency MP.
"The thoughts of everyone at East Suffolk Council are with his family and those close to him."
Cllr Peter Byatt Labour Group Leader at East Suffolk Council and also a former Waveney Councillor said: "On behalf of the Labour Group, I extend our sincere condolences to Bob’s family on their sad loss.
"Bob was an inspiration to all who knew him – many of us were encouraged to take up politics because of his influence, myself included.
"His commitment to the Lowestoft and Waveney area as our MP was outstanding – he never lost the common touch, always remembering names and faces and taking a genuine interest in people. It was a privilege to know him."
Pam Juden, who used to work with Mr Blizzard told SuffolkNews: "Before becoming an MP Bob was a teacher and I had the good fortune to be a colleague. He was a man of great integrity and empathy.
"I should like to extend my deep condolences to his family. My memories of working with him are all happy ones."