Tony Benn was a towering figure in British politics and a stalwart of the peace and anti-nuclear movement.
We feel his absence today, with grief that we will never hear his words of wisdom again, but also with hope and re-commitment to our shared cause, inspired by his values and his life.
His anti-nuclear principles underpinned so much of his political work. In February 1958, the month of CND’s foundation, Tony resigned his position as one of Labour’s front bench spokesmen on Defence, stating that he could not, “under any circumstances, support a policy which contemplated the use of atomic weapons in war”. He has stood by CND on every occasion since, most recently serving as its Vice-President.
And we carry the torch of his beliefs in a better world and his determination to end the sorrow of war. A world where politics is not the language of brute force but an articulation of the possible: of justice, progress, and peace.
I am honoured to have shared platforms with Tony to oppose wars of aggression, from Iraq to Afghanistan, and to reject weapons which threaten the annihilation of our planet. His convictions in a world without nuclear weapons and his vision of equality and peace are a legacy which we will maintain and continue with all our strength.
We will miss him deeply, but we know that his fighting spirit will continue to inspire us as we stand shoulder to shoulder for peace in his memory.
We offer our deepest condolences to Tony’s friends and family.