Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 17°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk/UK: Local tributes to political icon Tony Benn

17:50 14 March 2014

Tony Benn with David Dimbleby filming Question Time in Ipswich in 2006

Tony Benn with David Dimbleby filming Question Time in Ipswich in 2006

The death of veteran left-winger Tony Benn prompted tributes from political friends and foes from across the region.

shares

Labour MEP for the East of England Richard Howitt said Mr Benn was Tony Benn as one of the finest political speakers in the history of the Labour Party.

He said: “Tony Benn was an inspiration to me and many young people coming into the Labour Party, and with his very sad loss today our party has lost one of the finest teachers, prophets and thinkers in its history.

“Tony Benn taught me that to be a politician you also had to be a teacher, and he was always someone who put policies before personalities or polls.

“My first meeting with him was when he came to my university in the wake of an attempted coup in Spain, where he drove home his lifelong passion for the importance of parliamentary democracy.

“An abiding memory for me about Tony was in regularly attending his late night conversations over a pot of tea at Labour Party Conference which always bubbled with ideas, argument and humour.”

Lord Deben, the former Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer, crossed swords with Mr Benn on several occasions – and remembers him as a “wonderful speaker.”

“He was a real challenger of received wisdom but I think his extreme views cost the Labour Party hugely.”

Lord Deben said it was necessary for the extremes of both parties to come up with ideas to challenge the leadership – but these extreme views could frighten voters.

“That is what happened to Labour at that time (during the 1980s). He was always very dogmatic and prepared to argue his point of view.

“In some ways he was very old fashioned – he always opposed the EU and he also opposed the merger between the Congregationalists and Presbyterians to form the United Reformed church.”

However he was always very courteous and polite – and was true to his views come what may.

shares

0 comments

Crews attended the fire

Firefighters were called to a fire at a field in Whepstead, near Bury St Edmunds.

POlice attended to the incident

Police were called to a crash involving two cars in Felixstowe this evening.

Centenarian Norman Bennett arrives in style at his 100th birthday party held at Cransford Village Hall.

A sprightly centenarian has celebrated his 100th birthday with a party in the community.

Cilla Black has died at her holiday home in Spain.

Television personality and singer Cilla Black has died in Spain at the age of 72.

Demolition work continues at Ipswich police station.

Another substantial section of Ipswich’s former police station has come as demolition contractors were able to close part of Civic Drive on Sunday to carry out the work.

The steam engine 'road run' sets off from Acton.

Around 20 vintage steam engines took to the highways of west Suffolk and north Essex this weekend for a special anniversary road trip.

Families enjoyed the good weather  at The Oaks Primary School funday.
L-R Princess Elsa ( Gemma Williams), Kirsty and Alice Tierney-Jones, Tara Ashton.

More than £760 has been raised for two good causes at a fun day at Oaks Community Primary School in Ipswich on Saturday.

View from Princes Street Bridge

Police in Ipswich closed a street in the town earlier this morning while they dealt with a man who they thought might jump from a bridge.

Firefighters attended the incident

Firefighters were called to a motorcycle fire in Bungay this morning.

Lord Deben John Gummer, Christine Block, from Deben Estuary Partnership, Karen Thomas, from Water Management Alliance, Graham Henderson, from DEP, Simon Amstutz, from AONB, Therese Coffey MP, David Kemp from the Environment Agency, and Suffolk Coastal District Councillor Andy Smith gathered to launch the Deben Estuary Plan.

Three years of work have created a new community-led blueprint to protect and manage one of Suffolk’s treasures, the River Deben estuary

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages