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Tony Benn funeral: Crowds pay tribute to 'one-off MP'

Devoted crowds are waiting outside in Westminster as the funeral service of former Labour cabinet minister Tony Benn gets underway.

One banner describes the left-wing MP as "truly irreplacable", while another calls him "our Tony Benn".

One poster reads "his truth goes marching on".
One poster reads "his truth goes marching on". Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Another describes Mr Benn as "a one off MP".
Another describes Mr Benn as "a one off MP". Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
The Durham Miners Association hoist a flag in Westminster.
The Durham Miners Association hoist a flag in Benn's honour. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

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Tony Benn's family prepare to say final goodbye

Tony Benn was 88 when he passed away on March 14

The friends and family of former Chesterfield MP, Tony Benn, are preparing to say their final goodbyes at his funeral later this morning.

He served as a Labour politician for 51 years. Credit: PA

A service for the long-serving Labour politician will be held at St Margaret's Church in Westminster at 11am.

It's expected he'll then be buried at his family estate in Essex.

Funeral of former Chesterfield MP Tony Benn

Tony Benn, veteren labour politician Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The funeral of former Chesterfield MP, Tony Benn, will take place at St Margaret's today.

His body has lain to rest in the Palace of Westminster ahead of the funeral. Royal permission was granted for the honour which has only been given to one politician before, Grantham-born Margaret Thatcher.

Tony Benn died two weeks ago at his home, and people from across the political world have paid tribute to him.

National

Family, friends and MPs to attend Tony Benn's funeral

Former Labour minister Tony Benn will be laid to rest today after a funeral held opposite the Houses of Parliament.

Read: Tony Benn's body to lie in Westminster Hall

Tony Benn
Tony Benn speaking out against then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1981. Credit: PA

Read: Tony Benn: A towering figure who never wavered

The father-of-four will be remembered in a service at St Margaret's Church during a service beginning at 11am.

His body will be taken by hearse from the gates of New Palace Yard, with family members following on foot.

The left wing politician, who died aged 88 earlier this month, was allowed to lie in Parliament's Chapel of St Mary Undercroft with MPs, peers and passholders allowed to pay their respects.

Read: Veteran Labour politician Tony Benn dies aged 88

Read: Tony Benn's coffin arrives in Westminster

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Tony Benn's coffin arrives in Westminster

Tony Benn's coffin arrived in Westminster tonight as he made his final visit to Parliament.

The former Labour cabinet minister's body lay in rest in Parliament's Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, as family gathered round for a private ceremony to mark his death.

Tony Benn's coffin is carried into Parliament's Chapel of St Mary Undercroft. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

His children Stephen, Hilary, Melissa and Joshua were among around 30 close relatives who attended the service conducted by the Speaker of the House of Commons' Chaplain Rose Hudson-Wilkin in the crypt chapel.

The chapel has been also been briefly opened up to MPs, peers and passholders to allow them to pay their respects ahead of tomorrow's funeral.

Veteran Labour politician Tony Benn pictured in 2012. Credit: Press Association.

Mr Benn's funeral will take place tomorrow at 11am opposite parliament at St Margaret's Church after his coffin is taken by hearse from the gates of New Palace Yard, with family members following on foot.

A memorial meeting will be held later in the year.

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