NUS has paid tribute to Tony Benn, former cabinet minister, who sadly passed away today aged 88.
Toni Pearce, NUS President said:
“Tony Benn was a great friend and ally of the student movement, and NUS, for many decades.
“We are so proud to have worked together with him in so many of our campaigns to shape a better, fairer world.
“The solidarity, warmth, and friendship he showed to students will not be forgotten. His values, integrity, and passion have inspired so many of us.
“I was privileged to attend the Tolpuddle Martyrs festival last summer and to spend time with Tony, who remained kind, humane, and inspiring to the last.
"He was a thorn in the side of the establishment, a fierce critic of unaccountable elites, and a true champion of the powerless, the poor, and the dispossessed.
"Our thoughts today will be with the family and many friends of Tony Benn, who loved him dearly and he loved back.”
Kat Fletcher, former NUS President (2004-2006) said:
"Tony Benn was funny, dignified and spot on about the challenges facing the student movement of the day.
"We gave him honorary life membership of the union and an NUS discount card that he assured me he'd enjoy 'using in the record shops'.
"He gave me a charming note, signed diary and a piece of the ribbon he cut to mark the occasion in order to allow me to 'keep the red flag flying'.
"I shared numerous platforms with Tony over the years from Levellers Day to the Left Fields at Glastonbury and was always inspired by his passion and knowledge."