Town’s former MP ‘fighting for his life’

tony benn
tony benn

Former Chesterfield MP Tony Benn is fighting for his life in hospital.

The 88-year-old is understood to be ­seriously ill after being admitted at the weekend feeling unwell.

Toby Perkins MP.

Toby Perkins MP.

Mr Benn, 88, was the town’s Labour MP between 1984 and 2001.

His successor, Toby Perkins, said: “Tony’s been a great help to me.

“Everyone’s very concerned he’s seriously ill in hospital.

“I truly hope he pulls through.”

In recent years Mr Benn has been president of the Stop the War campaign as well as a popular public speaker.

He has topped several polls as the most popular politician in Britain.

On Tuesday night, a spokesman for the Benn family said: “Tony Benn was taken to hospital on Saturday evening after feeling unwell.

“He is currently receiving treatment.”

Just last year Mr Benn revealed he did not fear death after suffering a stroke, explaining that losing his wife Caroline to cancer 14 years ago had helped him cope with the prospect.

He said: “I’m not ­frightened about death.

“I don’t know why – I just feel at a certain moment your switch is switched off and that’s it and you can’t do anything about it.

“I think experiencing my wife’s life and then death has encouraged me to feel like this.”

But he admitted that he still misses the American educationalist and wanted to be buried next to her by the River Blackwater in Essex.

Mr Benn entered Parliament in November 1950 and served as Minister of Technology, Industry and Energy in the Wilson and Callaghan Cabinets.

He opposed joining the Common Market, was pipped to the Deputy Leadership by Dennis Healey and backed the miners’ strike.