The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament reacted with great sadness today at the news of the death of Lord Hugh Jenkins – a former CND Vice-President and leading anti-nuclear activist. Lord Jenkins, born in 1908 and a life-long CND supporter, was a founder of one of the anti-nuclear organisations that led to the formation of CND and attended the first and many subsequent Aldermaston marches.
Jenkins passionately supported CND’s work and spent much of his time in the Commons and Lords asking parliamentary questions on CND-related issues, including Trident, Star Wars and Cruise missiles. In 1955 he stood for election under Labour and fought his seat in Mitcham with an anti-H-bomb campaign, against the will of the majority of the local labour party. He was elected to parliament in 1966.
Lord Jenkins first heard of the nuclear bomb when on a troop ship at the end of the second world war. The ship was held up going in to Bombay harbour and he later found out that it was delayed because the bomb was being dropped on Hiroshima. From that point onwards, until his death, Jenkins was opposed to nuclear weapons.
To quote a friend of Lord Jenkins, his commitment, passion and dedication to the cause of peace and nuclear disarmament ” never, ever wavered.”
Lord Jenkins also contributed directly to CND’s work by co-authoring CND publications and espousing the cause publicly. He was made a Peer by Mrs Thatcher at the request of Michael Foot who apparently felt the House of Lords needed an outspoken anti-nuclear spokesperson.
Kate Hudson, CND’s current Chair, said,
“Lord Jenkins stuck with the anti-nuclear movement through the highs and lows and supported CND with a passion and longevity that must be admired by all of our supporters. With his death we lose a Vice-president, a passionate supporter and a kind and sincere man.”