Tony Benn: Veteran left-wing politician and activist 'seriously ill' in hospital

The former Labour cabinet minister, 88, was taken to hospital over the weekend and has spent four nights on an NHS ward

Veteran left-wing politician and activist Tony Benn is reportedly 'seriously ill' in hospital.

The former Labour cabinet minister, 88, was taken to hospital over the weekend and has spent four nights on an NHS ward.

A spokesman for his family said: "Tony Benn was taken to hospital on Saturday evening after feeling unwell. He is currently receiving treatment."

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

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

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

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