As an MP, Alf Morris was the architect of pioneering disability rights legislation in 1970 and became first minister with the disability portfolio in Harold Wilson's government from 1974, introducing benefits for disabled people and their carers, including a mobility allowance.
He became a life peer in 1997 after 33 years as MP for Manchester Wythenshawe, and remained a thorn in ministers' sides even when they were in the same party.
Baroness Royall, Labour leader in the Lords, said she was "deeply saddened" by his death. "Alf died in hospital on Sunday afternoon after a short illness … With his Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 – the very first act to give rights to people with disabilities – he transformed the lives of millions and millions of people throughout the world.
"He championed the rights of disabled people, including injured service personnel, throughout his life and was deeply committed to public service."
Morris, who was president of the Haemophilia Society, fought hard to make successive governments help and compensate thousands of haemophiliacs who developed HIV and hepatitis C through contaminated blood products, many imported from the US, in the 1970s and 80s.
Bernard Manson, chair of the Haemophilia Society, said Morris "had the rare gift of empathy combined with activism".
Morris had "created genuine and lasting change for the better; his passing marks the end of an era".
Tanni Grey-Thompson, Paralympian and crossbencher peer, tweeted: "He was so kind to me in the Lords. Came up to me and said: 'I'm Alf Morris'. I couldn't speak."
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