Ex-Labour MP dies, 77

The former Labour MP Ted Leadbitter, 77, has died after a road accident.

During his 28 years in Parliament the former MP for Hartlepool gained a reputation as an independent-minded backbencher who was unafraid of criticising successive Labour leaders. In 1979 he was instrumental in exposing Sir Anthony Blunt, Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures, as a traitor and former Soviet spy.

He died in the intensive-care unit at North Tees Hospital in Stockton- on-Tees.