Tributes have been paid to Lord Corbett of Castle Vale, the former Birmingham MP, who has died aged 78.

Robin Corbett represented Birmingham Erdington as a Labour MP for eight years, from 1983 to 2001.

He was also a former journalist, working for the Birmingham Mail and later the Daily Mirror.

He died on Sunday at 8am with his wife, Val, and family present. He had been suffering from cancer.

Jack Dromey (Lab), the current MP for Erdington, said: “Robin was truly a great man, loved and a legend in Erdington.

“He leaves a remarkable legacy of achievement and it was typical of him that, after outstanding service to the people of Erdington, he went to the House of Lords as Lord Corbett of Castle Vale.”

Lord Corbett was born in Fremantle, Australia, on December 22, 1933, and attended Holly Lodge Grammar School in Smethwick.

After his national service in the Royal Air Force in 1951, he became a journalist. After a career in newspapers, he became deputy editor of Farmer’s Weekly in 1968.

He was elected Labour MP for Hemel Hempstead at the October 1974 general election, losing the seat in 1979 but returning to parliament as a Birmingham MP in 1983.

Lord Corbett was a senior figure in the Labour Party in opposition, serving as a party whip from 1984 to 1987, shadow home affairs minister from 1987 to 1992 and a shadow culture minister from 1992 to 1994.

He later served as chairman of the influential Commons Home Affairs Select Committee from 1999 to 2001, until retiring from the Commons to join the House of Lords.

There, he was chairman of the all-party British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom and chairman of Friends of Cyprus.

He was a supporter of local employers as an “ambassador” for Advantage West Midlands, the government agency set up to support the economy.

Mr Dromey said: “He never lost touch with the people he served so well. He will be sorely missed but forever remembered.”

Richard Burden, MP for Birmingham Northfield, tweeted on Sunday: "RIP Robin, Lord Corbett of Castle Vale. A valued colleague as Erdington's Labour MP for many years and a fun friend."

Also on Twitter, Lord Mayor of Birmingham Coun Anita Ward described Lord Corbett as "a great guy and MP for Erdington", adding: "Sad day."

Philip Hunt, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, Labour's deputy leader in the Lords, said: "Robin Corbett was a brave wonderful man who was widely admired in Brum and the Lords. His passion and energy will always be remembered."

And Rev Arun Arora, team leader of the Wolverhampton Pioneer Ministries network church, added: "RIP Lord Corbett of Castle Vale. Robin was a great MP and did much for the people of Brum. Prayers for Val and Polly."