Left-wing former cabinet minister Tony Benn has died after a serious illness, leaving behind four children. Becoming a young MP in 1950, he served until for 50 years and almost became deputy leader of the Labour Party. He was born into the peerage but renounced his title so that he could remain in The House of Commons rather than the House of Lords.
Whilst not always sharing the same beliefs as other parties or politicians he was greatly respected and was popular as a public speaker, anti-war compaigner, champion of social rights and as a writer and diarist. He stated in old age that he was not afraid of dying and visitors described him as sharp minded until the end. He had this to say about his legacy:
“You look back and, when you’re in a critical mood, you see you made errors of
judgement. But as long as you say what you believe and believe what you say –
that’s the test of authenticity.”