Brown hails Cole as 'soft-spoken giant of journalism'

Gordon Brown has joined Ed Miliband and David Cameron in paying tribute to the BBC's former political editor. Credit: DPA/Press Association

Former prime minister Gordon Brown has added his tribute to BBC broadcaster John Cole, who has died at the age of 85 after a long illness.

The statement from Mr Brown said: "John Cole was the soft-spoken giant of journalism whose friendly manner and unimpeachable integrity allowed him to ask the difficult questions that got to the heart of an issue.

"Respected by all, he leaves a great legacy of writing and commentating which will serve the test of time."

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BBC broadcaster John Cole dies

Former BBC Political Editor John Cole has died at 85 after a long illness. He was in the role from 1981 until the 1992 General Election. David Cameron led the tributes, saying: "He is someone who contributed so much to British political life."