Sir Gerald Kaufman, Labour MP for Manchester Gorton and Father of the House of Commons, has died aged 86.
His family made the announcement late on Sunday, calling him “a great socialist and parliamentarian”.
Sir Gerald, who was the oldest serving MP, famously called his party’s left-wing 1983 election manifesto “the longest suicide note in history”.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn led tributes to him, calling him an “iconic and irascible figure”.
Former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: “There was no one quite like Gerald Kaufman: a brilliant speaker, a compelling writer, an acerbic wit and a conscientious constituency MP.
lines but gave the wisest of advice to Labour leaders who relied upon him throughout his 47 years in Westminster.”
A family spokesman confirmed he had been suffering from a long-term illness.
Sir Gerald became an MP in north-west England in 1970, first for the Manchester Ardwick constituency and then for Manchester Gorton, which he had served since 1983.
He was a junior minister between 1974 and 1979, and held a number of senior shadow cabinet posts through the 1980s, before returning to the backbenches in the early 1990s.
A family spokesman said: “Sir Gerald dedicated his life to serving those who he believed would benefit most from a Labour government and Labour values in action.
“He believed that policy and principle without power were simply not enough to deliver the better life that he fought for on behalf of his constituents for almost 50 years.
“[Throughout his illness], he remained firmly committed to, and focused on, the activities and wellbeing of his beloved constituency.”