Tributes paid to Ipswich businessman

Tributes were today paid to a leading Labour activist and Ipswich businessman who died after a long battle with cancer.

SOUTH SUFFOLK: Tributes were today paid to a leading Labour activist and Ipswich businessman who died after a long battle with cancer.

Brian Kennedy, 51, who was chairman of the South Suffolk Labour Party, was also a popular musician and was bass guitarist with the group First.

Mr Kennedy joined Labour when living in the Chiswick area of south London. He moved to Suffolk before the 1997 General Election and helped the party achieve its best result in the constituency for more than 40 years.

After becoming chairman of the constituency party, he was instrumental in encouraging friend Emma Bishton to stand for selection as Labour candidate against Tim Yeo at the next election.

Labour constituency secretary and friend Sue Thomas, said: “I've worked with Brian over a number of years and am so very sorry that we have lost him to cancer. He really did persevere with life and was a great person.

“He was a political animal and very much wanted to be part of Labour's 2010 election campaign.

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“He was so positive, amazingly determined and would stay in contact even when in hospital. His wife told me that he would be gutted to miss the General Election.

“We are all extremely saddened by his untimely death and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”

Mr Kennedy, who lived in Nayland with his teacher wife Jayne and three sons, William, 17, Callum, 13, and Robert, ten, owned the photographic business Snappy Snaps in The Thoroughfare in Ipswich.

A humanist funeral service will be held on Friday at 3.30pm at Colchester Crematorium, followed at 5pm by a wake at Stoke-by-Nayland golf club.

Donations in lieu of flowers can be sent to St Helena Hospice and/or Amnesty International via The Co-op Funeral Services, 94-96 Wimpole Road, Colchester C01 2DB.

Pay tribute to Mr Kennedy - write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk