Harlow politicians pay tribute to Tony Benn

News / Sat 15th Mar 2014 at 09:21am

A NUMBER OF Labour politicians have paid tribute to Tony Benn who has passed away after a short illness at the age of 88.

Harlow councillor Waida Forman said: I will remember him as a regular visitor to the Burston School Strike Rally in Diss, Norfolk. The rally celebrates the longest strike in British history by teachers Tom and Kitty Higdon, parents and school children that started in 1914 and lasted 25 years. Sadly, Tony will miss this year’s centenary.

“I personally will remember him fondly as a frequent visitor to summer garden parties of Rayleigh Labour Party in the 1980′s”.

waida22Harlow MEP Richard Howitt has also marked the passing of Tony Benn.

Mr Howitt said:

“The Labour Party has lost a teacher, a prophet and a thinker.

“Tony Benn was an inspiration to me and many young people coming into the Labour Party, and with his very sad loss today our party has lost one of the finest teachers, prophets and thinkers in its history.

“Tony Benn taught me that to be a politician you also had to be a teacher, and he was always someone who put policies before personalities or polls.

“My first meeting with him was when he came to my university in the wake of an attempted coup in Spain, where he drove home his lifelong passion for the importance of parliamentary democracy.

“An abiding memory for me about Tony was in regularly attending his late night conversations over a pot of tea at Labour Party Conference which always bubbled with ideas, argument and humour.

“The last time I saw him was sitting on a picnic box at the TUC’s mass protest march against the cuts just two years ago when he marched with the rest of us just like anyone else.

“This morning I feel very sorry that I will never again be able to hear a speech from one of the Labour Party’s greatest ever orators. Whether you agreed with him or not, everyone would want to listen to Tony Benn.”

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