THE sudden death of long-serving Blackburn with Darwen councillor Mike Johnson has shocked colleagues who spoke of a quiet, thoughtful and helpful politician.

The 62-year-old died in hospital following a short illness.

He leaves a wife Julie and three children Amy, Sally and Charlie.


A Labour councillor, with two short breaks, since 1990 he represented the wards of Revidge, Shear Brow and most recently Higher Croft.

He was the current the chair of the Standards Committee and member of Higher Croft Community Association.

A graduate of Lancaster University he worked as a tutor at Blackburn College’s University Centre.

Cllr Mohammed Khan, leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said “ Mike’s sudden death is a real tragedy.

“He was a devoted family man who was very popular with all his Labour colleagues because of his sense of fairness and compassion.”

Blackburn with Darwen Mayor and Shear Brown councillor, Hussain Akhtar, said: “Mike’s death was a big shock.

“It is a great loss of a great servant of the people of Blackburn with Darwen who will be much missed.”

Former Tory leader, Cllr Colin Rigby, said: ”He was a quiet thoughtful councillor who will me much missed.

“He considered his words carefully before he spoke so he always made good sense.”

Liberal Democrat leader, Cllr David Foster, said: “Mike death is a shock and a loss to the council.

“He was a very reasonable man.”

Fellow Higher Croft Labour councillor, Andy Kay, said: “He was a fine gentleman and a really good mate.

“He would always help wherever he could, and wasn’t afraid of getting involved.

“It’s hard to take in what has happened.”

Cllr Johnson was well-known for his fondness of his campervan and trips to Glastonbury.

He was a keen supporter of real ale and Morris dancing.

Cllr Johnson also loved cycling and recently cycled from London to Paris.

Meadowhead Councillor Julie Gunn said: “He was a gentleman, a caring tutor and good fun to be around.”