Headteacher of Queen’s Park school where Tony Benn gave talks and sat in on lessons pays tribute

Tony Benn during a visit to Queen's Park Community School

Tony Benn during a visit to Queen's Park Community School - Credit: Archant

The head of a Queen’s Park school in which Tony Benn was actively involved in has paid tribute to the veteran left-wing campaigner who died this morning at the age of 88.

The former cabinet minister visited Queen’s Park Community School in Aylestone Avenue, several times where he gave a number of talks to students and even sat in with them during government and politics lessons.

Two of the ex-MPs granddaughters are students at the school.

Mike Hulme, QPCS headteacher, said: “He was a brilliant man, a national treasure and a wonderful individual.

“He was a wonderful statesman and we are saddened to learn of his death. Our thoughts are with his family at this most difficult of times.”

During one visit, Mr Benn persuaded former Conservative MP and Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont to accompany him where they took part in a debate on current affairs.

Mr Hulme said: “The pupils loved it. On one corner you had Tony and on the other you had Norman expressing completely different political stances.

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“It’s was extremely educational for them.”

After more than 50 years in politics, Mr Benn retired from Parliament in 2001 a year after his wife Caroline died.

He is survived by his daughter Melissa, who lives in Queen’s Park, and sons Stephen, Joshua and Hilary the Labour MP for Leeds Central.

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