Veteran politician Tony Benn has died at the age of 88.
The former cabinet minister died peacefully in the early hours of this morning surrounded by his family at his west London home.
His children Stephen, Hilary, Melissa and Joshua have issued a statement.
“We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all the NHS staff and carers who have looked after him with such kindness in hospital and at home.
“We will miss above all his love which has sustained us throughout our lives. But we are comforted by the memory of his long, full and inspiring life and so proud of his devotion to helping others as he sought to change the world for the better,” the statement said.
Benn was elected to parliament in 1950, serving under Harold Wilson.
A widely respected and influential politician, he was known for his conviction and commitment to the people he represented.
Labour leader Ed Miliband led the tributes, describing Benn as an “iconic figure of our age”.
“He believed in movements and mobilised people behind him for the causes he cared about, often unfashionable ones. In a world of politics that is often too small, he thought big about our
“Above all, as I had cause to know, he was an incredibly kind man. I did work experience with him at the age of 16. I may have been just a teenager but he treated me as an equal.
Tributes are also flooding in on Twitter for the former Labour minister.
Tony Benn was a magnificent writer, speaker and campaigner. There was never a dull moment listening to him, even if you disagreed with him.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) March 14, 2014
RIP Tony Benn; courteous, civilised, & utterly principled. In many respects, a model politician.
— Zac Goldsmith (@ZacGoldsmith) March 14, 2014
Hope there’s some young men and women out there today thinking, “I would like to be like Tony Benn. That is a template for me.”
— Caitlin Moran (@caitlinmoran) March 14, 2014
Tony Benn’s extraordinary life has come to an end. His legacy will endure. Our challenge to take it forward. Our thoughts with his family
— Harriet Harman (@HarrietHarman) March 14, 2014
The best tribute to Tony Benn would be for us all to up our game in the ceaseless fight for a better world. RIP Tony.
— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) March 14, 2014
Tony Benn, an honest , good hearted politician and as such characterised by the right wing ideological mouthpieces as a bit mad. RIP sir.
— Simon Pegg (@simonpegg) March 14, 2014
Tony Benn was the most charming & kind politician I encountered as a political editor. & his stories, of Labour’s past, were compelling
— Robert Peston (@Peston) March 14, 2014
RIP Tony Benn. A fighter all his life, fought death with the same courage he lived life. A large and loving family there with him to the end
— Alastair Campbell (@campbellclaret) March 14, 2014
Benn will also be remembered as the person who installed this plaque in a cupboard in the House of Commons…
…and for being one of the few people to come out well in an interview with Ali G.
Tony Benn Ali G interview