Lancashire peer Baroness Farrington dies aged 77

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​Tributes have been paid to Labour former whip Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton, who has died aged 77.

The peer joined the House of Lords in 1994 after a career in local politics in ​Lancashire.

She served continuously on Labour’s front bench in Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s governments.

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans tweeted: “Sad to hear of Josie Farrington’s death.

“She was my Labour opponent at the Ribble Valley by election and a true stalwart of parliament and Preston.

​“A thoroughly decent person.​”

Baroness Farrington was a Preston Borough Councillor from 1973-76.

In 1977, she was elected to Lancashire County Council and held several senior positions, including chairman of the Education Committee.

Lord Falconer said​ yesterday​: “She was brilliant in the Lords, the best most effective whip, above all because she never forgot why we were all there, and what it meant to be Labour. She will be greatly missed.”

Baroness Royall tweeted: “So very sad to learn of the death of Josie Farrington @LabourLordsUK Josie was Labour to the core, a great campaigner + public servant. The best whip with whom I had a privilege to serve.”

Big Issue founder Lord Bird said the peer would be “missed by many”.

Labour former minister Angela Eagle said: “Very sad news - RIP Josie.”

Labour’s leader in the Lords, Baroness (Angela) Smith of Basildon said: “Josie was a tremendous character. She was highly respected and greatly loved within the Labour Peers Group, and more widely across our Party and beyond. We will miss her terribly.”