43 Facts About Tony Benn

1. In 2011 Tony Benn unveiled a plaque in Highbury, North London, to commemorate the Peasants' Revolt of 1381.

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2. Tony Benn made public several episodes of audio diaries he made during his time in Parliament and after retirement, entitled The Benn Tapes, broadcast originally on BBC Radio 4.

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3. Tony Benn was a prolific diarist: nine volumes of his diaries have been published.

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4. Tony Benn died at home on 14 March 2014, surrounded by his family, less than a month shy of his 89th birthday.

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5. Tony Benn was reported to be "seriously ill" in hospital in February 2014.

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6. Tony Benn said: "When you're in parliament, you can't describe your medical condition.

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7. In 2013, Tony Benn reiterated his previous opposition to European integration.

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8. Tony Benn gave a speech at the People's Assembly Conference held at Westminster Central Hall on 22 June 2013.

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9. In February 2013, Tony Benn was among those who gave their support to the People's Assembly in a letter published by The Guardian newspaper.

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10. In 2012, Tony Benn was awarded an honorary degree from Goldsmiths, University of London.

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11. In November 2011, it was reported that Tony Benn had moved out of his home in Holland Park Avenue, London, into a smaller flat nearby that benefited from a warden.

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12. Tony Benn claimed in 2010 that Blair had lost the "trust of the nation" regarding the war in Iraq.

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13. Tony Benn headed the "coalition of resistance", a group which was opposed to the UK austerity programme.

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14. In July 2011 Tony Benn was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Glamorgan, Wales.

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15. In 2009, Tony Benn was admitted to hospital and An Evening with Tony Benn, scheduled to take place at London's Cadogan Hall, was cancelled.

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16. Tony Benn was invited by Richard Branson and Peter Gabriel to join The Elders, an advocacy group composed of Nelson Mandela, Mary Robinson and Jimmy Carter.

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17. In early 2008, Tony Benn appeared on Scottish singer-songwriter Colin MacIntyre's album The Water, reading a poem he had written himself.

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18. In September 2007, Tony Benn called for the government to hold a referendum on the EU Reform Treaty.

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19. Tony Benn was fitted with an artificial pacemaker to help regulate his heartbeat.

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20. On 27 September 2005, Tony Benn became ill whilst attending the annual Labour Party Conference in Brighton and was taken by ambulance to the Royal Sussex County Hospital after being treated by paramedics on-the-scene at the Brighton Centre.

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21. On 21 June 2005, Tony Benn presented a programme on democracy as part of the Channel 5 series Big Ideas That Changed The World.

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22. Tony Benn spoke against the war at the February 2003 protest in London organised by the Stop the War Coalition, with police saying it was the biggest ever demonstration in the UK with about 750,000 marchers, and the organisers estimating nearly a million people participating.

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23. Tony Benn became a leading figure of the British opposition to the War in Afghanistan from 2001 and the Iraq War, and in February 2003 he travelled to Baghdad to meet Saddam Hussein.

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24. Tony Benn was supportive of the extra public money given to public services in the New Labour years but believed it to be under the guise of privatisation.

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25. Tony Benn supported the introduction of the national minimum wage, and welcomed the progress towards peace and security in Northern Ireland.

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26. In 1992, Tony Benn received a Pipe Smoker of the Year award, claiming in his acceptance speech that "pipe smoking stopped you going to war".

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27. Tony Benn presented an account of his proposal in Common Sense: A New Constitution for Britain.

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28. Tony Benn stood against Denis Healey, the party's incumbent deputy leader, triggering the 1981 Deputy Leadership election, disregarding an appeal from Michael Foot to either stand for the leadership or abstain from inflaming the party's divisions.

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29. Tony Benn was highly critical of the SDP, saying that "Britain has had SDP governments for the past 25 years.

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30. Tony Benn "was stridently against membership", and campaigned in favour of a referendum on the UK's membership.

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31. Tony Benn proposed issuing stamps without the Sovereign's head, but this met with private opposition from the Queen.

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32. Tony Benn made several unsuccessful attempts to renounce the succession.

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33. Tony Benn became the "Baby" again in 1951, when Teevan was not re-elected.

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34. Tony Benn won the seat in a by-election on 30 November 1950.

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35. Tony Benn was a first cousin once removed of the actress Margaret Rutherford.

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36. Tony Benn met Caroline Middleton DeCamp was born on 13 October 1926, Cincinnati, Ohio, United States and over tea at Worcester College, Oxford, in 1949 and just nine days after meeting her; he proposed to her on a park bench in the city.

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37. Tony Benn was granted an emergency commission as a pilot officer on 10 March 1945.

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38. In July 1943, Tony Benn enlisted in the Royal Air Force as an aircraftman 2nd Class.

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39. Tony Benn met Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald when he was five years old, whom he described as: "A kindly old gentleman [who] leaned over me and offered me a chocolate biscuit.

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40. Tony Benn was born in Westminster, London on 3 April 1925.

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41. Tony Benn was an active member of the Fabian Society and was its Chair from 1964 until 1965.

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42. Tony Benn fought to remain in the House of Commons, and then campaigned for the ability to renounce the title, a campaign which succeeded with the Peerage Act 1963.

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43. Tony Benn was a Member of Parliament for 47 years between the 1950 and 2001 general elections and a Cabinet minister in the Labour governments of Harold Wilson and James Callaghan in the 1960s and 1970s.

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