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Tributes to Labour stalwart Tony Benn

Tony Benn has died at 88

Tony Benn has died at 88

Tributes have been pouring in today following the death of Labour Party veteran Tony Benn.

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden is among those to pay their respects to the former cabinet minister, who died at home this morning at the age of 88.

He said Mr Benn, a major figure of left-wing politics who retired in 2001, had a “fantastic impact” on grass roots politics.

Mr Marsden added: “He was witty, he was mischievous, he was extraordinarily erudite – but also very direct. They were all the qualities people appreciated about him.

“He has had an impact on me all my life.

“When I was editor of History Today, in the late 1980s and early 1990s I did a piece with him. He was an extraordinary man.”

Mr Benn, who was first elected in 1950, became president of the Stop the War Coalition following his retirement from politics.

Current Labour leader Ed Milliband said Mr Benn will be remembered as “a champion of the powerless, a great parliamentarian and a conviction politician”.

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