DETAILS of the funeral of Lord Foster of Bishop Auckland were confirmed yesterday following the death of the former MP on Saturday, at the age of 81.

The funeral will be held at noon on Friday, January 25, at Millfield, the Salvation Army headquarters in Rutland Street, Sunderland SR4 6HX. It will be followed by a cremation.

Derek Foster was born in Sunderland, and when he was elected to Parliament in 1979, he was the only MP to be a uniformed member of the Salvation Army. He met his wife, Anne, through the church.

He spent 10 years as Labour chief whip, and was very closely associated with the modernising efforts of the then leader, Neil Kinnock. He was given a peerage when he stood down from the Bishop Auckland seat in 2005.

When his death, from cancer, was announced on Sunday night, the current Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and the former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, were among the first to pay tribute to him.