Reaction to Tony Benn's death

Key points

  • Veteran politician Tony Benn has died at home surrounded by his family. He was 88.
  • The former cabinet minister and formidable left-wing campaigner had been seriously ill.
  • He first entered Parliament in 1950 at a by-election in Bristol South-East.
  • Labour leader Ed Miliband has led tributes, describing him as an "iconic figure of our age".
  • Conservatives have also paid tribute. "There was never a dull moment listening to him, even if you disagreed with him," David Cameron said.

Live text


  • John Harrison 
  • Suzanne Leigh 
  • Bernadette McCague 
  • Nigel Pankhurst 
  • Holly Wallis 


Hello and welcome to our coverage of reaction and tributes to veteran Labour politician Tony Benn who has died at his home at the age of 88.


Tony Benn had been seriously ill. His family said he died peacefully at home this morning in west London surrounded by his family.


In a joint statement his four children thanked hospital staff for their care, adding: "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."


Labour leader Ed Miliband called Tony Benn "an iconic figure of our age - he will be remembered as a champion of the powerless, a great parliamentarian and a conviction politician".


Labour leader Ed Miliband added, of the man who was a frequent critic of the new Labour agenda: "Tony Benn spoke his mind and spoke up for his values. Whether you agreed with him or disagreed with him, everyone knew where he stood and what he stood for."


Prime Minister David Cameron said: "Tony Benn was a magnificent writer, speaker and campaigner. There was never a dull moment listening to him, even if you disagreed with him."


Tony Benn was one of the best known and highest profile figures in British politics over the past half century - in the 1960s he was the minister behind the development of the Concorde project.


He was a fervent campaigner against British membership of the European Union, putting the case for "No" in the 1975 referendum on the issue, while serving as minister for energy.


Lots of politicians are paying tribute on Twitter. Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman said: "Tony Benn's extraordinary life has come to an end. His legacy will endure. Our challenge to take it forward. Our thoughts with his family."