'Great charm and unfailing courtesy' - NUJ pays tribute to 'member of honour' Tony Benn

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The National Union of Journalists has joined those paying tribute today to the former MP and journalist Tony Benn, who has died at the age of 88.
 
Benn joined the union in January 1950 when he was working for the BBC and opened Headland House, when the NUJ moved into its new headquarters in King's Cross in 2001. He spoke at NUJ events and will be remembered for his writing and journalism.
 
NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said:
 
Tony's commitment to journalism and his support for broader trade union principles brought him the respect and admiration of members across the NUJ. He was a great parliamentarian, an inspiring speaker and a champion for trade union values. He was a long-term member, member of honour and a stalwart supporter of the NUJ. He was a person of great charm and unfailing courtesy. He will be much missed.
 
The NUJ statement added: 
 
During his political career he supported the union in many of its disputes, for example sending messages of support to journalists in dispute with Northcliffe newspapers in his constituency, Bristol, and he joined members on picket lines on many occasions. 
 
He was a great supporter of the George Viner Memorial Fund, an NUJ charity supporting the training of young black and Asian journalist students.
 
John McDonnell MP, secretary of the NUJ parliamentary group, said:
 
Tony Benn was the articulate advocate of socialism who inspired my generation and gave us all hope of a fair and equal society. He will be remembered for his principled commitment to his socialist beliefs and his principled stand on so many issues. His passing adds to a terribly sad week for the Left, coming so soon after the loss of Bob Crow.
Photo credit: Jason Harris

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