14/03/2014 04:30 GMT | Updated 14/03/2014 04:59 GMT

Mehdi's Morning Memo: RIP Tony Benn

Stephen Kelly/PA Wire
File photo dated 08/10/07 of Tony Benn. The veteran politician died at home today at the age of 88, his family said in a statement.

Here is the one thing you need to know on Friday 14 March 2014...


Tony Benn, socialist, diarist, anti-war activist and former Labour MP and cabinet minister, passed away at his home this morning at the age of 88. From the Huffington Post UK:

"Veteran Labour politician Tony Benn has died at home at the age of 88, his family said today. The former cabinet minister died this morning at his home in west London surrounded by family members. In a statement his children Stephen, Hilary, Melissa and Joshua said: 'It is with great sadness that we announce that our father Tony Benn died peacefully early this morning at his home in west London surrounded by his family'... Labour leader Ed Miliband paid tribute to an 'iconic figure of our age'. He said: "He will be remembered as a champion of the powerless, a great parliamentarian and a conviction politician. Tony Benn spoke his mind and spoke up for his values. Whether you agreed with him or disagreed with him, everyone knew where he stood and what he stood for.'"

The prime minister David Cameron tweeted that Benn was "a magnificent writer, speaker and campaigner. There was never a dull moment listening to him, even if you disagreed with him".

Here are five videos of his most "eloquent verbal assaults" on opponents ranging from former Labour prime minister Tony Blair to former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton.

Here is Benn's incredible life in pictures.


From the Sun/YouGov poll:

Labour 38

Conservatives 33

Lib Dems 11

Ukip 10

That would give Labour a majority of 58.


George Eaton, writing in the Times, says: "Labour and Lib Dems are natural allies again."

Fraser Nelson, writing in the Telegraph, says: "Squabbling Tories grow deaf to their own good news."

Owen Jones, writing in the Guardian, says: "Operation Get Nigel Farage is politics of the lowest form."

Got something you want to share? Please send any stories/tips/quotes/pix/plugs/gossip to Mehdi Hasan (mehdi.hasan@huffingtonpost.com) or Ned Simons (ned.simons@huffingtonpost.com). You can also follow us on Twitter: @mehdirhasan, @nedsimons and @huffpostukpol