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Funeral of Tony Benn

26 March 2014

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, joined politicians, union leaders and friends and family of Tony Benn, at his funeral at St Margaret's church Westminster.

Tony Benn became a member of the NUJ in 1950 and was made a member of honour. He was a loyal supporter of the union and its causes. It was Tony who opened Headland House, when the NUJ moved into its new headquarters in King's Cross in 2001.

Members of the NUJ joined mourners outside the church, who had come to pay their respects to the former Labour minister and life-long socialist. The service, which included the hymns Jerusalem and To be a Pilgrim, was broadcast to the crowd.

The congregation heard speeches from Ed Miliband, Labour Party leader, and Tony Benn's brother and children.

Michelle Stanistreet said:

"Today’s service was a moving and fitting tribute to a great man whose inspirational activism and tireless campaigning was evident in the diversity of the hundreds of mourners, inside and outside the church, who came together in force to pay their respects to Tony.”

Owen Jones, journalist and political commentator, Tweeted:

"Beautiful service for Tony Benn, incredible eulogies from his children, ending with a defiant rendition of The Red Flag."

NUJ obituary

Tags: , tony benn, funeral, trade unions, members of honour, labour party britain