The Police Federation has paid tribute to its chairman, Paul McKeever, who died this morning.
Mr McKeever, who was 57, died of a suspected embolism.
“Paul will be remembered throughout policing history as the man who carried the Federation through one of its most challenging times; leading many campaigns over officers’ conditions of service to vociferously representing his colleagues on the numerous changes to the service that have taken place,” the Federation said in a statement.
“Despite the many challenges faced, one of Paul’s greatest qualities was his ability at all times to remain a gentleman; at no time allowing the petty or difficult to detract from his true passion and calling in life: policing. “
The Federation said that messages of condolence for the loss of “one of their finest and most inspiring leaders” have come flooding in.
MPs have used Twitter to express their condolences.
Tony McNulty said: "Absolutely shocked by death of Paul McKeever - worked closely with him as Police Minister. Devoted public servant. Family in thoughts."
Mark Reckless MP said: "Very sad to hear the news that Paul McKeever who headed the Police Federation has died. A very decent, measured and considerate man."
Former Police Minister Nick Herbert said: "I'm shocked and saddened to hear of Paul McKeever's untimely death. Despite our differences we got on well. He was a kind, thoughtful man."
Home Secretary Theresa May said: "I’m deeply saddened to hear of Paul McKeever’s death. He gave more than 35 years to the police in a long and distinguished career."
Her Shadow, Yvette Cooper, said: "Terribly sad to learn Paul McKeever has died. A great champion for policing, a lovely man and always great company."
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, said:
"I was greatly saddened to hear the news that Paul McKeever, Chairman of the Police Federation, passed away last night. My immediate thoughts are with his wife and daughter and I send my deepest sympathies and condolences on behalf of his friends and colleagues in the Metropolitan Police Service."
"Paul began his police career at the Met, joining Lambeth in 1977 and then moving to Bromley as a Sergeant in 1989. Paul was elected to the Police Federation in 1992 and then Chairman in 2008."
ACPO President Sir Hugh Orde said:
"The sad news of Paul McKeever's death has come as a shock to the policing family. Paul and I served together as PCs in London. Paul worked tirelessly in his role as Police Federation chairman and was a passionate advocate and voice for public safety and the rank and file. Our deepest sympathies and thoughts are with his family, friends and federation colleagues at this time."