11/03/2014 10:10 GMT | Updated 11/03/2014 10:59 GMT

Bob Crow Dead: Media Hate For Union Leader A Factor In His Death, Suggests Ken Livingstone

Bob Crow, the firebrand union leader who died today, did as good a job at winding up the conservative press as he did standing up for what he believed was in the best interests of Tube workers.

Former London mayor Ken Livingstone, no stranger himself to newspaper attacks, told BBC Radio 4's World at One programme today that the "endless strain of being a media hate figure" had taken its toll on Crow and "may have been a factor" in his death.

The Daily Express once asked: 'Bob Crow: Britain's most hated man?' And Crow would frequently send the Daily Mail into fits of rage. Only last night the paper railed against his six-figure union salary.

Livingstone said Crow "put on a very brave front" in the face of media criticism but that he knew from personal experience that it "takes it toll"

"I also expect just the endless strain of being a media hate figure, you know, the following on holiday, people intruding into every aspect of your life, I've been through that, it does take a toll, that might have been a factor," he said.

"It's that constant unremitting intrusion. People outside the door. People chasing up old girlfriends. It's got worse and worse with the passage of time because there are more media outfits doing that."

SEE ALSO: Bob Crow's Reaction To Jeremy Paxman Was Brilliant (VIDEO)