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Tributes pour in after death announced of former Harlow MP Stan Newens

History / Wed 3rd Mar 2021 at 04:24pm

THE DEATH has been announced of the former MP for Harlow, Stan Newens.

Stan’s son, Thomas Newens, put a message out on social media this afternoon (Wednesday).

Stan was born in Bethnal Green, a true Londoner, who made North Weald and eventually, since 1960, Harlow, his home.

A school teacher of history and avid book collector, Stan cared for people generally and had a great concern about the welfare of British people and society throughout the world 

He was first elected MP for Epping in 1964 and for the then new parliamentary seat of Harlow in 1974 until 1984. He became a Euro MP and travelled the world promoting his ideals of peace and freedom until eventually standing down from public life in 1999.

He was very active in his retirement as chair of the Harlow Civic Society, of the Gibberd Garden Trust, of which he had only recently been made life president. He was also proud of his links with Waltham Abbey historical society, North Weald Preservation Society.

In Essex he was the driving force behind the Victoria County History of Essex Trust.

Twice married: to Anne Newens, who died unexpectedly, leaving him to bring up two daughters Sarah and Caroline and his beloved Sandra and their children Helen Margaret and Thomas.

Mike Danvers, a friend, said “ Stan has been a defender of the underdog all his adult life. Sometimes taking on difficult causes and eventually being proved right, like the struggle for freedom in South Africa. He was a true internationalist who believed in the cause of peace throughout the world. He is going to be sadly missed”

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Bill Rammell: MP for Harlow: 1997-2010

Bill Rammell, who was Labour MP for Harlow between 1997 and 2010 paid tribute to Stan.

“I am so sad to hear of Stansted passing. Stan was such a committed democratic socialist who devoted his life to politics and Harlow.

But he was much more as well. A historian, a man of ideas.

A superb member of parliament for Harlow. He was a huge source of support for me when I stood for which I will ever be grateful.

My thoughts go out to Sandra and his children. Stan was a principled man and he will be deeply missed.

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Robert Halfon: MP for Harlow: 2010-present day

Harlow MP Robert Halfon has also paid tribute.

Mr Halfon said: “I am so sorry for the loss of Mr Newens.

Long after he was MP, he dedicated himself to the history and civic heritage of our town. When I wrote to him, after being elected, to have a civic society plaque to represent Winston Churchill’s life as former MP for Harlow and Epping, he readily agreed.

After a special ceremony in October 2013, that plaque now stands proud at the Old Harlow Victoria Theatre, where Churchill spoke in 1924.

Despite our very different politics, Mr Newens also asked me to speak at his book launch which was his memoirs of his significant political life.

“I wish all his family, the very best at this difficult time.

“Harlow has lost a strong civic minded politician, who dedicated his life to Harlow”.

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Jerry Hayes: MP for Harlow: 1983-1997

“I am very sorry to hear about Stan Newens, who was a kind, decent and honourable man.

“He was a great constituency MP who fought fearlessly for the vulnerable.

“We will all miss him and our hearts go out to the family”.

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The parliamentary candidate for Harlow in 2019, Laura McAlpine struck up a close bond with Stan.

Ms McAlpine said: “

“Feeling utterly heartbroken – learning of the death of Stan Newens. Stan fought ferociously until the end for a fairer society.

“A life committed to socialism. He was the soul of Harlow Labour. The Labour movement and Harlow has lost a a champion of the people – a giant”.

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Back in 2013, to coincide with the publication of his autobiography, In Quest Of A Fairer Society, YH Editor, Michael Casey sat down with Stan at his home to talk about his political life.

Further tributes will be published in due course.

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