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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.

  1. National

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
  1. National

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:


UKIP distance themselves from Katie Hopkins Aylan Kurdi comments

UKIP have moved to distance themselves from comments made by Katie Hopkins at their conference in Doncaster.

Controversial Hopkins claimed that a photo of drowned refugee boy, Aylan Kurdi was 'staged':

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