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.
film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 2 City traders pay £200 for a quick hangover cure
- 3 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Ball pool for adults opens in London
Gorillaz Phase 4: Cartoon supergroup is back as new artwork is unveiled
Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
As Better Call Saul launches, here are the other spin-off shows we need to see
Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Hard line on immigration could cost Tories the election