Veteran Labour politician Lord Bilston has died, sparking a flood of tributes.

Labour leader Ed Miliband, John Prescott and Harriet Harman were among those hailing the life and career of Dennis Turner, who was 71.

Mr Prescott described him as 'a true working class fighter for social justice and a passionate Black Country advocate'.

Mr Turner served as Labour MP for Wolverhampton South East from 1987 to 2005 before being made a peer.

The father of two was previously a Wolverhampton councillor for 20 years, including seven where he served as deputy leader.

In the 1970s he had been at the forefront of the campaign to save Bilston Steelworks.

Elected to the council in 1966 at the age of 22, he was one of its youngest members.

He was a member of the West Midlands County Council from 1973 until 1986.

In later years he had successfully campaigned to keep Bilston as part of one Parliamentary constituency, fighting plans for it to be carved up between four different MPs as part of a proposed review of boundaries.

Dennis Turner was hailed as a true Bilston patriot
Dennis Turner was hailed as 'a true Bilston patriot'
 

In more recent times he served as patron of Wolverhampton Interfaith, chaired the Wolverhampton Fairtrade Partnership and was President of the Bilston Community Association. He was granted Freedom of the City of Wolverhampton in 2006.

Ed Miliband tweeted: “Very sad to hear about the passing of Dennis Turner. He dedicated his life to public service and the people of Wolverhampton & Bilston.”

And John Prescott added: “So sad to here of Dennis Turner’s passing. A true working class fighter for social justice and a passionate Black Country advocate.”

Lord Bilston’s successor as an MP, Labour’s Pat McFadden, said: “Our city has lost a great son. Dennis was a true Bilston patriot.”

Harriet Harman said: “So sad to hear of the death of Dennis Turner. My thoughts with the family of this kind, sharp-witted, decent Labour man.”

He was born, raised and lived in Bilston his whole life and leaves a widow, Pat, son Brendon, daughter Jenny and granddaughter Bella.