Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 11°C

Search

Suffolk/UK: Local tributes to political icon Tony Benn

17:50 14 March 2014

Tony Benn with David Dimbleby filming Question Time in Ipswich in 2006

Tony Benn with David Dimbleby filming Question Time in Ipswich in 2006

The death of veteran left-winger Tony Benn prompted tributes from political friends and foes from across the region.

shares

Labour MEP for the East of England Richard Howitt said Mr Benn was Tony Benn as one of the finest political speakers in the history of the Labour Party.

He said: “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.”

Lord Deben, the former Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer, crossed swords with Mr Benn on several occasions – and remembers him as a “wonderful speaker.”

“He was a real challenger of received wisdom but I think his extreme views cost the Labour Party hugely.”

Lord Deben said it was necessary for the extremes of both parties to come up with ideas to challenge the leadership – but these extreme views could frighten voters.

“That is what happened to Labour at that time (during the 1980s). He was always very dogmatic and prepared to argue his point of view.

“In some ways he was very old fashioned – he always opposed the EU and he also opposed the merger between the Congregationalists and Presbyterians to form the United Reformed church.”

However he was always very courteous and polite – and was true to his views come what may.

shares

0 comments

Roadworks at the junction of Handford Road and Portman Road in Ipswich.

Ipswich leaders have voiced their outrage as a major Ipswich road is being dug up for the sixteenth time in ONE year – bringing chaos to parts of the town centre.

Police burglary investigation - stock photo

A burglar who targeted elderly people living in sheltered housing accomodation in Suffolk and Essex has been jailed for seven years.

Jo Churchill has heard many concerns about Syrian refugees.

Three Suffolk MPs have added their calls for Britain to join other European countries in offering more Syrian refugees a safe haven.

The Woodbridge Heritage Group are campaigning against the proposed relocation of

Campaigners fighting for a statue to remain in the town where it has stood for 35 years have received backing from a relative of its original benefactor.

Web fire

A primary school has been forced not to open this morning for the first day of term after a blaze broke out in the early hours of this morning.

The female driver of the car was not injured but shaken.

A lorry reportedly failed to stop after colliding with a car on the A14 near the Wherstead turnoff.

Cars for sale at the roadside

Trading Standards experts have revealed the top 10 most frequent consumer complaints.

From left to right: Moira Ely, Leah Fuller and Colin Ely presenting the cheque for £2,000 to St Elizabeth Hospice after Colin's bungee jump in July

An Ipswich landlady has vowed to follow in the footsteps of her extraordinary dad – and tackle a charity bungee jump for St Elizabeth Hospice.

Mars

A physicist who worked on a high-resolution camera that sent images back from Mars has turned his hand to writing.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages