Tony Benn, a veteran left wing Labour MP who renounced his title in order to become a parliamentarian, has died at home at the age of 88. Benn was a hero of mine, a principled campaigner and articulate statesman. He was an inventor and tinkerer who created wonderful devices, including a brilliant pocket-protector of his own devising.
Benn's activism, which included going to Iraq in the runup to the US/UK invasion in an attempt to forestall war, was tireless, inspired and inspiring. He will be very missed.
A major figure on the left of the party, he narrowly missed out on the deputy leadership in 1981 and went on to be a popular public speaker, anti-war campaigner and political diarist.
In a statement his children Stephen, Hilary, Melissa and Joshua said Mr Benn died peacefully early this morning at his home in west London surrounded by his family.
"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."
(Image: Tony Benn Glasto07, CC-BY-SA, Wikimedia Commons/Glastonbury Left Field)