Tony Benn dead: Twitter tributes serve as moving eulogy to his enduring political legacy

 

Much-loved veteran politician Tony Benn has died. The outspoken left-wing activist passed away peacefully aged 88 on Friday, surrounded by his family. Throughout his life he inspired thousands of people across the political spectrum with his brilliant speaking, writing and campaigning.

Benn was a different kind of leader, making his mark amongst politicians and ordinary people alike, influential across the political spectrum. This powerful legacy is evident in the hundreds of posts made on Twitter this morning which pay tribute to his strength and conviction. Although the tweets are threaded through with grief at the loss of such an extraordinary man, it is clear his principles and influence live on. He touched so many with his unwavering commitment to the type of politics that would really affect people’s lives. The tributes to be found on Twitter are brimming with emotion. They serve as a moving eulogy to a man who led the left with great integrity and conviction.

 

In a statement his children Stephen, Hilary, Melissa and Joshua said: "We will miss above all his love which has sustained us throughout our lives. But we are comforted by the memory of his long, full and inspiring life and so proud of his devotion to helping others as he sought to change the world for the better."

Mr Benn 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.

In 2001 Mr Benn stepped down from parliament in order to 'spend more time on politics'.

He remained an active and outspoken member of the Labour party. In recent years he had been a central member of the anti-war movement.

He had recently moved into sheltered accommodation near his home in Holland Park, London, following a stroke last year.

Last month he was taken into hospital, where his condition was reported as "seriously ill".

His most recent public appearance was in December when he spoke at a service remembering Nelson Mandela.

RIP Tony Benn.

Read more: Tony Benn dies aged 88
Obituary: No one else led the left so superbly with such fire
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