Sir Edward pays tribute to former MP Tony Benn

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Harborough MP Sir Edward Garnier paid tribute to Tony Benn MP in the House of Commons.

Sir Edward was speaking following the death of the long-serving and outspoken Labour politician.

He said: “I did not know Tony Benn as well as many members on the Opposition Benches did, but I want briefly to recognise his huge humanity and conduct as a Member of this House.

“I did not share his politics—I fundamentally disagreed with more or less everything he ever said—but I got to know his humanity.

“After he had left this House, he and I very occasionally spoke on the same platforms, discussing the previous Government’s proposals on identity cards and other forms of, as we thought, excessive Government interference in the life of the individual.

“There were occasions when we would walk back from halls to the tube station or bus stop and he would talk to me as if I had known him for ever, utterly without side and utterly unconcerned that I was a member of the Conservative party and he was not, but the occasion I remember most clearly is the one when he stood at that Dispatch Box with his son, introducing him to this House.

“The sheer pride of a father for his son was palpable. That is evidence, it seems to me, that we were looking not just at the typical two-dimensional modern politician but at the three-dimensional transparent decency of a very great man.”

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