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Book of condolence opens for former MP Denis Healey

A book of condolence has been opened at Leeds Civic Hall for former city MP Denis Healey who passed away last Saturday.

Denis Healey died on Saturday aged 98 Credit: Press Association

Lord Healey represented Leeds South East and following constituency boundary changes Leeds East as a Labour MP for 40 years in total from 1952-1992, and also served in government as Secretary of State for Defence from 1964-1970 and as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1974-1979. Stepping down as an MP in 1992, he received a life peerage as Baron Healey of Riddlesden.

Members of the public are invited to sign the book of condolence at the civic hall, which is located in a room located at the Portland Crescent entrance of the building.

Denis Healey served the city of Leeds as an MP with great distinction for 40 years, and will rightly be remembered as a towering political figure in Britain. The opening of a book of condolence at the civic hall is an opportunity for the people of Leeds to remember and pay their own tributes to his tremendous public service.

– Cllr Judith Blake

Former Labour MP Richard Caborn pays tribute to Denis Healey

Tributes have been paid to Denis Healey, who has died at the age of 98.

Lord Healey was a Labour MP in Leeds for forty years before entering the House of Lords in 1992.

He served as both Defence Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer in the 1970s. But he lost out to left winger Michael Foot in the fight to become Labour's leader.

Former Labour MP Richard Caborn says Denis Healey helped to turn the country's economy around.


John Prescott pays tribute to 'last of the big beasts' Denis Healey

The former Deputy Prime Minister and Hull East MP John Prescott has paid tribute online to Denis Healey.

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Blair and Kinnock hail 'extraordinary' Healey

Denis Healey, left, with Neil Kinnock, centre, and then US vice-president George Bush in 1985. Credit: PA Archive

Former Labour leaders Tony Blair and Neil Kinnock have both offered tributes to the party's former chancellor Denis Healey.

Blair described Lord Healey as a "great champion for social justice, in and out of Government, a stalwart of the Labour Party, a true patriot who fought for and cared deeply about his country and an extraordinary and vibrant character."

He praised the peer for steering Labour and the country through "some of the most difficult economic times", and said his defeat of Tony Benn to become deputy leader in 1981 had "probably saved the Labour Party as an instrument of Government and social change".

"All of us in the Labour Party owe him a huge debt. Britain has lost a dedicated and faithful public servant," the former Prime Minister said.

Lord Kinnock, during whose leadership Lord Healey was shadow foreign secretary, said: "Denis had high intellect, great personal courage, charm and a sense of humour which was rumbustious and, when needed, lethal."

"He didn't suffer fools gladly or, indeed, at all. That partly explains why he was never leader of the party despite having rich political talent," he added.

David Cameron pays tribute to 'a brave politician' and 'a great man'

The Prime Minister has today paid tribute to ex-Labour chancellor Denis Healey who died at his home in Sussex. The former Bradford Grammar pupil was a Leeds MP for forty years.

David Cameron described Lord Healey as a 'hero' during World War Two and a 'brave politician'.

World War II ex-serviceman Lord Healey the former Labour Chancellor Denis Credit: Fiona Hanson/PA Archive/PA Images

We’ve lost a huge figure of post-war politics. A hero in World War Two as Beach Master at Anzio and a brave politician, Denis Healey told his party hard truths about Britain having to live within her means. By all accounts he was a hugely entertaining man personally – and author of tremendously readable and informative books.

A great man and a genuine public servant has left us. We should mourn with his family and give thanks for all he gave our country."

– David Cameron, Prime Minister
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Corbyn pays tribute to 'Labour giant' Healey

Healey alongside his wife Edna with the Budget box in 1978. Credit: PA

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has led tributes to political "giant" Denis Healey, after the former chancellor's death aged 98.

Mr Corbyn was joined by politicians across the spectrum in hailing the Labour peer, and said: "Denis Healey was a Labour giant whose record of service to party and country stands as his testament. All our thoughts are with his family."

Current chancellor George Osborne also paid his respects, noting that Lord Healey was chancellor in the "most difficult circumstances" - referencing a period when the UK economy teetered on the brink of collapse, culminating in the government having to borrow from the International Monetary Fund in 1976.


Osborne announces South Yorkshire devolution deal

Chancellor George Osborne has announced that the Sheffield city region which includes South Yorkshire and parts of North Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire will have an elected mayor as part of a big money devolution deal.

If all goes as he hopes, from 2017 the area will vote for a directly-elected Mayor who will oversee a range of powers including transport budgets and planning.

Crucially it will give the area access to almost a billion pounds of Government money.

Sally Simpson reports:

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