Glastonbury 2014: Michael Eavis and Billy Bragg lead Tony Benn tribute
Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis led an emotional tribute to late Labour politician Tony Benn as the music festival kicked off on Friday.
Mr Eavis appeared to be on the verge of tears as he addressed the Left Field political forum, where the Labour MP, who died in March aged 88, often appeared as a guest speaker.
"What a fantastic fella. Highly Principled. A conviction politician who didn't do what was popular, he did what was right," an emotional Eavis said. "He was an A-star performer. How can we replace him, I ask you? We miss him so much."
Musician and activist Billy Bragg also praised the former Cabinet minister, describing him as a friend of the festival and leading a sing-along of Jerusalem in Mr Benn's honour with some festival-goers reduced to tears.
The Left Field tower, which is reserved for political debate and has become a landmark feature of the festival, will be renamed in memory of Mr Benn, who had been a central member of the anti-war movement in recent years.
An outspoken member of the Labour party, he first entered parliament in November 1950 and served in the cabinet under Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan. He narrowly missed out on election as Labour deputy leader in 1981, and was instrumental in party's 1983 manifesto.
This year's Glastonbury festival will see Metallica, Kasabian and Arcade Fire headlining the world-famous musical extravaganza, with other major acts on the bill including The Black Keys, Massive Attack and Pixies. Kaiser Chiefs kicked off the festival with a short, sharp blast of anthemic rock earlier today.
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 2 Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor are reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
- 3 Katie Hopkins has just written a piece so hateful that it might give Hitler pause – why was it published?
- 4 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
- 5 Cancel Sky at your peril: man spends 96 minutes in chat but fails to get rid of service
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Star Wars 7: George Lucas admits he hasn't seen The Force Awakens trailer
Star Wars: Rogue One trailer: Watch the teaser for the Jedi-less Death Star heist film
Avengers: Age of Ultron: 'After credits' scene leaks online
Kevin Spacey's successor at The Old Vic promises a more low-key approach
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate