Lord Healey
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Lord Healey: Tony Benn's early views 'damaged' Labour

15 March 2014 Last updated at 00:11 GMT

Former Labour Deputy Leader Denis Healey has said the far-left views of Tony Benn, who has died aged 88, had been "enormously damaging" to the party.

Mr Benn failed to beat Lord Healey in a contest for the deputy leadership of the party in 1981, and the late MP's decision to stand created a split on the left.

Lord Healey told Newsnight's Laura Kuenssberg he believed Mr Benn's "aggression" in his early political years was to prove he had broken with his family background.

''I think he really wanted to prove he was left-wing, and he couldn't prove he was working-class, he was the opposite,'' Lord Healey said.

But the two men had a ''very good'' relationship in late life, he added.