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Ed Miliband: Benn was a champion of the powerless

Labour leader Ed Miliband paid tribute to an "iconic figure of our age" Tony Benn.He said: "He will be remembered as a champion of the powerless, a great parliamentarian and a conviction politician.

Ed Miliband has paid tribute to Tony Benn who has died aged 88. Credit: Press Association

"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.

"For someone of such strong views, often at odds with his party, he won respect from across the political spectrum."

He went on: "This was because of his unshakeable beliefs and his abiding determination that power and the powerful should be held to account.

"He believed in movements and mobilised people behind him for the causes he cared about, often unfashionable ones. In a world of politics that is often too small, he thought big about our country and our world.

"Above all, as I had cause to know, he was an incredibly kind man. I did work experience with him at the age of 16. I may have been just a teenager but he treated me as an equal. It was the nature of the man and the principle of his politics."

Cameron pays tribute to 'magnificent speaker' Benn

Prime Minister David Cameron has paid tribute to veteran Labour politician and former Chesterfield MP Tony Benn.


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Labour MPs pay tribute to 'political giant' Tony Benn

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Benn family: We are so proud of his devotion to others

Veteran Labour politician Tony Benn died this morning at his home in west London surrounded by family members.

In a statement his children Stephen, Hilary, Melissa and Joshua said:

It is with great sadness that we announce that our father Tony Benn died peacefully early this morning at his home in west London surrounded by his family.

We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all the NHS staff and carers who have looked after him with such kindness in hospital and at home.

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.

Arrangements for his funeral will be announced in due course.


Tony Benn, former Chesterfield MP 'seriously ill'

Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Former Chesterfield MP, Tony Benn is spending his fourth night in hospital and is understood to be "seriously ill".

The 88-year-old former Cabinet minister was admitted to hospital over the weekend.

A family spokesman said: "Tony Benn was taken to hospital on Saturday evening after feeling unwell. He is currently receiving treatment."

Mr Benn entered Parliament in November 1950 and served in the Cabinet under Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan.

He campaigned against EU membership, oversaw the development of Concorde, narrowly missed out on election as Labour deputy leader in 1981, and was instrumental in party's 1983 manifesto.

He held a seat as MP for Chesterfield from a by-election in 1984 until 2001 when he stepped down from Parliament.

Mr Benn remains a significant figure in the Labour movement - in particular as a staunch opponent of the Iraq War.

Plans to ban smoking in cars carrying children move a step closer

Yesterday we reported on plans by Labour to place a ban on smoking in cars carrying children.

The plans have now moved a step closer after a vote in the House of Lords.

Campaigners say the ban will protect 500,000 children who are exposed to smoke in cars every week.

Last night's vote means it could become law if MPs are given a free vote on the issue when it returns to the Commons.

Baroness Floella Benjamin said that second hand smoke is a 'major trigger' for people who suffer from asthma.

Read more on the story here.

YOUR VIEWS: Smoking in cars with children

Smoking in cars that are carrying children has already been banned in some overseas states Credit: REUTERS/Phil Noble

You have been giving us your views on our Facebook page on whether smoking in cars while carrying children should be banned.

Here is a selection of your comments:

Steven Allsop: "Smoking in cars should be banned full stop."

Stephanie Newton: "Unsure why a law should be needed. Anyone who cares about their children's health would not smoke around them wherever that is. Just be better parents and less selfish. Surely this shouldn't even be a debate."

Rachel Fairfield: "As a smoker, ban cigarettes totally! Temptation is too hard! If I had willpower I wouldn't smoke at all! Ban it!"

Diane Reed: "I agree no smoking in cars with children. But if I wish to smoke in my car on my own that's my choice."

Hayley Conway: "It should be banned altogether and save the country millions in healthcare!"

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PM 'ready to listen to the arguments' on smoking in cars

Downing Street said David Cameron was ready to "listen to the arguments" about a ban on smoking in cars that are carrying children.

Prime Minister David Cameron 'wants to listen to the arguments' on banning smoking in cars with children. Credit: Luke MacGregor/PA Wire

The Prime Minister's official spokesman told a media briefing, "This is an issue that is going to be discussed and debated in Parliament today, and the Prime Minister's view is that he wants to listen to the arguments."

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