Baroness Glenys Kinnock: Former MEP and wife of ex Labour leader Lord Kinnock has died aged 79

Tributes have flooded in for former MEP Baroness Glenys Kinnock who has died, aged 79

Baroness Glenys Kinnock, former minister, MEP and wife of ex Labour leader Lord Kinnock, has died peacefully in her sleep aged 79, her family said in a statement.

Lord Kinnock was with his wife in her final moments after the pair had been married for 56 years.

Her family, which includes Labour MP Stephen Kinnock and daughter Rachel, said they were “devastated” by her death.

The couple met when she was 18 and Lord Kinnock was 20 and they later married in 1967.

Baroness Kinnock became a member of the European Parliament in 1994, before being appointed minister for Europe by Gordon Brown in 2009.

“A proud democratic socialist, she campaigned, in Britain and internationally, for justice and against poverty all her life,” the baroness' family said in a statement.

Neil Kinnock with his wife Glenys after the announcement of his victory in the Labour Party leadership election in 1983. Credit: PA

“Glenys endured Alzheimer’s after being diagnosed in 2017 and, as long as she could, sustained her merriment and endless capacity for love, never complaining and with the innate courage with which she had confronted every challenge throughout her life.

“The family is of course devastated and and would ask that their privacy be respected. Funeral details will be communicated in due course.”

Former prime minister Sir Tony Blair said Baroness Kinnock was a “leader in her own right”, away from her role supporting her husband Neil, who was Opposition leader between 1983 and 1992.

Sir Tony described her as “incredibly smart, brave, determined and resolute in standing up for what she believed was right”.

Meanwhile, Mr Brown, Sir Tony’s successor in Downing Street, spoke of his and wife Sarah’s sadness following the death.

Baroness Kinnock pictured with her husband Lord Kinnock Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA

“All who met Glenys admired her for her generosity, her warmth and her passionate support for the best of national and international causes,” he said.

“She was a highly effective and popular minister for Europe in the last Labour government and I was delighted to have persuaded her to become a member of the government.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer called her a “true fighter” for the party as he paid tribute to her life and career.

Sir Keir said Baroness Kinnock was a “passionate lifelong campaigner for social justice at home and abroad” who had an “impressive political career” in her own right.

“Neil and Glenys had the most wonderful partnership, there for each other through thick and thin, with a love and commitment that was instantly obvious when you saw them together,” he said.

“As the family have detailed, in recent years that meant looking after Glenys as Alzheimer’s did its worst.

Stephen Kinnock, Neil Kinnock and Glenys Kinnock. Credit: PA

“But what we will all remember is Glenys as a true fighter for the Labour Party and the values of the labour movement, a pioneering woman, to whom we owe an enormous debt.

“My sincere condolences to Neil, Stephen, Rachel and all the family at this sad time.”

The Kinnocks' son Stephen Kinnock is the Labour MP for Aberavon in Port Talbot, Wales.

Mr Kinnock said he was "heartbroken" at the death of his mother in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

"A truly formidable person in every single way, and with such a cheeky sense of humour! Rest in peace", the MP wrote.

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