FORMER Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair “Jack Straw is a true Labour giant. I was lucky enough to have him in cabinet throughout my time as Prime Minister, where he put his brilliant mind to work on two of the most challenging briefs: Home and Foreign Affairs.

“Jack’s contribution to law and order in Britain and this country’s standing in the world is quite simply formidable. In 2015, Parliament will lose one of the most able politicians of my generation, but I have no doubt that he will be immensely successful in whatever he turns his hand to next.”

Labour leader Ed Miliband ”Jack Straw will be greatly missed from the House of Commons. He can be rightly proud of his contribution to Labour's victory in 1997 and being one of only three people to have served in the cabinet continuously during Labour’s 13 years in government.

“He has been a great friend and loyal supporter to me during my time as leader. It is a measure of the man that I know the same would have been said by the six predecessors of mine under whom he served. He is Labour through and through.”

Blackburn with Darwen Council leader Kate Hollern “He has been a superb MP for Blackburn for over 30 years and a massive presence for us at Westminster. He has always championed Blackburn at a national and international level and, despite holding some of the most important offices there is to hold, has never ignored the people of this town.

“He’s always ensured he is out and about in the community discussing local issues and has never been one to take no for an answer if it meant challenging something he felt was wrong. People always felt it would be impossible to match Barbara Castle’s achievements but Jack has certainly done that.”

Harry Catherall, chief executive of Blackburn with Darwen Council “Jack has always been a friend of the council and has personally worked tirelessly to help realise the massive opportunities and investments made in the borough, helping champion our causes at a national level, as well as locally through his neighbourhood briefings.

“He will be a difficult act to follow but we’ll continue to highlight to the government some of the impressive work we are doing as a council as well as lobby for change to address some of the challenges we face.”

Former Conservative leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council Colin Rigby “I have always thought Jack was a great guy and an excellent MP for Blackburn. We have very different political views but he was always honest and fair and put the interests of Blackburn and his constituents first.

“He was always committed to promoting the interests of the borough even when I was its Conservative leader. Jack is an excellent example for any MP to follow.”

Lord Adam Patel of Blackburn “I am very sad we have lost a very hard-working and excellent MP but I should be delighted if he joined me in the House of Lords.

“He helped bring the different ethnic heritage communities in our uniquely diverse town together and represented everybody in Blackburn with equal passion. He has been a great servant of the town and great ambassador for its people.”