|The Right Honourable
|President of the Stop the War Coalition|
21 September 2001
|Vice President||Lindsey German|
|Preceded by||Office created|
|Secretary of State for Energy|
10 June 1975 – 4 May 1979
|Prime Minister||Harold Wilson
|Preceded by||Eric Varley|
|Succeeded by||David Howell|
|Secretary of State for Industry|
5 March 1974 – 10 June 1975
|Prime Minister||Harold Wilson|
|Preceded by||Peter Walker (at DTI)|
|Succeeded by||Eric Varley|
|Chairman of the Labour Party|
20 September 1971 – 25 September 1972
|Preceded by||Ian Mikardo|
|Succeeded by||William Simpson|
|Minister of Technology|
4 July 1966 – 19 June 1970
|Prime Minister||Harold Wilson|
|Preceded by||Frank Cousins|
|Succeeded by||Geoffrey Rippon|
15 October 1964 – 4 July 1966
|Prime Minister||Harold Wilson|
|Preceded by||Reginald Bevins|
|Succeeded by||Edward Short|
|Member of Parliament
1 March 1984 – 7 June 2001
|Preceded by||Eric Varley|
|Succeeded by||Paul Holmes|
|Member of Parliament
for Bristol South East
20 August 1963 – 9 June 1983
|Preceded by||Malcolm St Clair|
|Succeeded by||Constituency Abolished|
30 November 1950 – 17 November 1960
|Preceded by||Stafford Cripps|
|Succeeded by||Malcolm St Clair|
|Born||Anthony Neil Wedgwood Benn
3 April 1925
Marylebone, London, United Kingdom
(m. 1949–2000, her death)
|Children||Stephen, Hilary, Melissa, Joshua|
|Alma mater||New College, Oxford|
|Service/branch||Royal Air Force|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Anthony Neil Wedgwood Benn PC (born 3 April 1925), formerly 2nd Viscount Stansgate, is a retired British Labour Party politician who was a Member of Parliament (MP) for 50 years and a Cabinet Minister under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan.
Benn's campaign to renounce his hereditary peerage was instrumental in the creation of the Peerage Act 1963.2 In the Labour Government of 1964–1970 he served first as Postmaster General, where he oversaw the opening of the Post Office Tower, and later as a notably "technocratic" Minister of Technology. In the period when the Labour Party was in Opposition, for a year he was the Chairman of the Labour Party. In the Labour Government of 1974–1979 he returned to the Cabinet, initially as Secretary of State for Industry, before being made Secretary of State for Energy, retaining his post when James Callaghan replaced Wilson as Prime Minister. During the Labour Party's time in Opposition during the 1980s, he was seen as the party's prominent figure on the left, and the term "Bennite" has come to be used in Britain for someone of a more radical left-wing position.3
Benn has topped several polls as the most popular politician in Britain.4 He has been described as "one of the few UK politicians to have become more left-wing after holding ministerial office."5 Since leaving Parliament, Benn has become involved in the grass-roots politics of demonstrations and meetings, and has been the President of the Stop the War Coalition for the last decade. He has been a vegetarian since the 1970s.
Benn was born in London on 3 April 1925.6 Benn's paternal grandfather was John Benn, a successful politician who was created a baronet in 1914, and his father William Wedgwood Benn was a Liberal Member of Parliament who later crossed the floor to the Labour Party. He was appointed Secretary of State for India by Ramsay MacDonald in 1929, a position he held until 1931. He was elevated to the House of Lords with the title of Viscount Stansgate in 1941; the new wartime coalition government was short of working Labour peers in the upper house.7 From 1945 to 1946, he was the Secretary of State for Air in the first majority Labour Government.
Both his grandfathers, John Benn (who founded a publishing company)8 and Daniel Holmes, were also Liberal MPs (respectively, for Tower Hamlets, Devonport and Glasgow Govan).9 Benn's contact with leading politicians of the day dates back to his earliest years; he met Ramsay MacDonald when he was five,10 David Lloyd George when he was 12 and Mahatma Gandhi in 1931, while his father was Secretary of State for India.
Benn's mother, Margaret Wedgwood Benn (née Holmes) (1897–1991), was a dedicated theologian, feminist and the founder President of the Congregational Federation. She was a member of the League of the Church Militant, which was the predecessor of the Movement for the Ordination of Women – in 1925 she was rebuked by Randall Thomas Davidson, the Archbishop of Canterbury, for advocating the ordination of women. His mother's theology had a profound influence on Benn, as she taught him that the stories in the Bible were based around the struggle between the prophets and the kings and that he ought in his life to support the prophets over the kings, who had power, as the prophets taught righteousness.11
Benn went to Westminster School and studied at New College, Oxford, where he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics and was elected President of the Oxford Union in 1947. In later life, Benn attempted to remove public references to his private education from Who's Who; in the 1975 edition his entry stated "Education—still in progress". In the 1976 edition, almost all details were omitted save for his name, jobs as a Member of Parliament and as a Government Minister, and address; the publishers confirmed that Benn had sent back the draft entry with everything else struck through.12 In the 1977 edition, Benn's entry disappeared entirely.13 In October 1973 he announced on BBC Radio that he wished to be known as Mr Tony Benn rather than as Anthony Wedgwood Benn, and his book Speeches from 1974 is credited to "Tony Benn".
In July 1943, Benn joined the Royal Air Force.14 His father and brother Michael (who was later killed in an accident) were already serving in the RAF. Whilst holding the rank of pilot officer, Benn served as a pilot in South Africa and Rhodesia.15
Benn met Caroline Middleton DeCamp (born 13 October 1926, Cincinnati, Ohio) over tea at Worcester College in 1949 and nine days later he proposed to her on a park bench in the city. Later, he bought the bench from Oxford City Council and installed it in the garden of their home in Holland Park. Tony and Caroline had four children – Stephen, Hilary, Melissa and Joshua, and ten grandchildren. Caroline Benn died of cancer on 22 November 2000, aged 74, after a prominent career as an educationalist.16
Benn's children have been active in politics; his first son Stephen was an elected Member of the Inner London Education Authority from 1986 to 1990. His second son Hilary was a councillor in London, and stood for Parliament in 1983 and 1987, becoming the Labour MP for Leeds Central in 1999. He was Secretary of State for International Development from 2003 to 2007, and then Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs until 2010. This makes him the third generation of his family to have been a member of the Cabinet, a rare distinction for a modern political family in Britain. Benn's granddaughter Emily Benn failed to win East Worthing and Shoreham in 2010,17 becoming the Labour Party's youngest-ever candidate in the process.18 Benn is a first cousin once removed of the late actress Dame Margaret Rutherford.19
Following the Second World War Benn worked briefly as a BBC Radio producer. On 1 November 1950, he was unexpectedly selected to succeed Sir Stafford Cripps as the Labour candidate for Bristol South East, after Cripps stood down because of ill-health. He won the seat in a by-election on 30 November 1950.20 Anthony Crosland helped him get the seat as he was the MP for nearby South Gloucestershire at the time. Upon taking the oath on 4 December 195021 Benn became the youngest MP, or "Baby of the House" for one day, being succeeded by Thomas Teevan, who was two years younger but took his oath a day later.22 He became the "Baby" again in 1951, when Teevan was not re-elected. In the 1950s, Benn held middle-of-the-road or soft left views, and was not associated with the young left wing group around Aneurin Bevan.23
Benn's father had been created Viscount Stansgate in 1942 when Winston Churchill increased the number of Labour peers to aid political work in the House of Lords; at this time, Benn's elder brother Michael was intending to enter the priesthood and had no objections to inheriting a peerage. However, Michael was later killed in an accident while on active service in the Second World War, and this left Benn as the heir to the peerage. He made several attempts to renounce the succession, but they were unsuccessful.23
In November 1960 Viscount Stansgate died and Benn automatically became a peer and was thus prevented from sitting in the House of Commons. Insisting on his right to abandon his peerage, Benn fought to retain his seat in a by-election caused by his succession on 4 May 1961. Although he was disqualified from taking his seat, he was re-elected. An election court found that the voters were fully aware that Benn was disqualified, and declared the seat won by the Conservative runner-up, Malcolm St Clair, who was at the time also the heir presumptive to a peerage.2
Benn continued his campaign outside Parliament, and eventually the Conservative Government of the time accepted the need for a change in the law.24 The Peerage Act 1963, allowing renunciation of peerages, became law shortly after 6 pm on 31 July 1963. Benn was the first peer to renounce his title, which he did at 6.22 pm that day. St Clair, fulfilling a promise he had made at the time of his election, then accepted the office of Stewardship of the Manor of Northstead, disqualifying himself from the House (outright resignation not being possible). Benn returned to the Commons after winning a by-election on 20 August 1963.23
In the 1964 Government of Harold Wilson, Benn was Postmaster General, where he oversaw the opening of the Post Office Tower, then the UK's tallest building, and the creations of the Post Bus service and Girobank. He proposed issuing stamps without the Sovereign's head, but this met with private opposition from the Queen. Instead, the portrait was reduced to a small profile in silhouette, a format that is still used on commemorative stamps.25 Benn also led the government's campaign to close down the many off-shore pirate radio stations of the time, a campaign that formed the centrepiece of the 2009 film The Boat That Rocked, and he was responsible for introducing the Marine Broadcasting Offences Bill.26 By the time the bill became law in 1967, Benn had been promoted to Minister of Technology, which included responsibility for the development of Concorde and the formation of International Computers Ltd. The period also saw government involvement in industrial rationalisation, and the merger of several car companies to form British Leyland. 27 Labour lost the 1970 election to Edward Heath's Conservatives, and upon Heath's application to join the European Economic Community, Benn campaigned in favour of a referendum on the UK's membership. The Shadow Cabinet voted to support a referendum on 29 March 1972, and as a result Roy Jenkins resigned as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.
In the Labour Government of 1974 Benn was Secretary of State for Industry, increased nationalised industry pay, provided better terms and conditions for workers such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and set up worker cooperatives to motivate and reform struggling industries, the best known being at Meriden, outside Birmingham which kept Triumph Motorcycles in production until 1983. In 1975 he was appointed Secretary of State for Energy, immediately following his unsuccessful campaign for a "No" vote in the referendum on the UK's continued membership of the European Community (Common Market). Later in his diary (25 October 1977) Benn wrote that he "loathed" the EEC; he claimed it was "bureaucratic and centralised" and "of course it is really dominated by Germany. All the Common Market countries except the UK have been occupied by Germany, and they have this mixed feeling of hatred and subservience towards the Germans".28
Harold Wilson resigned as Leader of the Labour Party and Prime Minister in March 1976. In the resulting leadership contest Benn came fourth out of the six cabinet ministers who stood — he withdrew as 11.8% of colleagues voted for him in the first ballot. Benn withdrew from the second ballot and supported Michael Foot, which James Callaghan eventually won. Despite not receiving his support in the second and third rounds of the vote, Callaghan kept Benn as Energy Secretary. In autumn 1976 there was a sterling crisis, and Chancellor of the Exchequer Denis Healey sought a loan from the International Monetary Fund. Underlining a wish to counter international market forces which seemed to penalise a larger welfare state, Benn publicly circulated the divided Cabinet minutes from the 1931 National Labour Government of Ramsay MacDonald tacking the Great Depression which cut unemployment benefits to obtain a loan from American bankers. As he highlighted, these minutes resulted in the 1931 split of the Labour Party into National Labour (Organisation) and other Labour Party members. Callaghan allowed Benn to put forward his "alternative economic strategy", which consisted of a self sufficient economy less dependent on low-rate fresh borrowing but the AES, which according to opponents, would have led to a "siege economy", was rejected by the Cabinet.29
By the end of the 1970s, Benn had migrated to the left wing of the Labour Party. He attributed this political shift to his experience as a Cabinet Minister in the 1964–1970 Labour Government. Benn wrote:
As a minister, I experienced the power of industrialists and bankers to get their way by use of the crudest form of economic pressure, even blackmail, against a Labour Government. Compared to this, the pressure brought to bear in industrial disputes is minuscule. This power was revealed even more clearly in 1976 when the IMF secured cuts in our public expenditure. These lessons led me to the conclusion that the UK is only superficially governed by MPs and the voters who elect them. Parliamentary democracy is, in truth, little more than a means of securing a periodical change in the management team, which is then allowed to preside over a system that remains in essence intact. If the British people were ever to ask themselves what power they truly enjoyed under our political system they would be amazed to discover how little it is, and some new Chartist agitation might be born and might quickly gather momentum.30
Benn's philosophy consisted of a form of syndicalism, state planning where necessary to ensure national competitiveness, greater democracy in the structures of the Labour Party and observance of Party Conference decisions;31 he was vilified by most of the press which supported the young Margaret Thatcher — his opponents implied and stated that a Benn-led Labour Government would implement a type of Eastern European socialism.32 Benn was overwhelmingly popular with Labour activists: a survey of delegates at the Labour Party Conference in 1978 found that by large margins they supported Benn for the leadership and many Bennite policies.33
He publicly supported Sinn Féin and the unification of Ireland, although in 2005 he suggested to Sinn Féin leaders that it abandon its long-standing policy of not taking seats at Westminster (abstentionism). Sinn Féin argue that to do so would recognise Britain's claim over Northern Ireland, and the Sinn Féin constitution prevented its elected members from taking their seats in any British-created institution.34
In a keynote speech to the Labour Party Conference of 1980, shortly before the resignation of party leader James Callaghan and election of Michael Foot as successor, Benn outlined what he envisaged the next Labour Government would do. "Within days", a Labour Government would gain powers to nationalise industries, control capital and implement industrial democracy; "within weeks", all powers from Brussels would be returned to Westminster, and abolish the House of Lords by creating one thousand peers and then abolishing the peerage. Benn received tumultuous applause.35
In 1981, he stood against incumbent Denis Healey for Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, disregarding the appeal from Michael Foot to either stand for the leadership or abstain from inflaming the party's divisions. Benn defended his decision with insistence that it was "not about personalities, but about policies." The contest was extremely closely fought, and Healey won by a margin of barely 1%. The decision of several moderate left-wing MPs, including Neil Kinnock, to abstain triggered the split of the Campaign Group from the Left of the Tribune Group.36
After Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in April 1982, Benn argued that the dispute should be settled by the United Nations and that the British Government should not send a task force to recapture the islands. The task force was sent and the Falklands were soon back in British control. In a subsequent debate in the Commons, Benn's demand for "a full analysis of the costs in life, equipment and money in this tragic and unnecessary war" was rejected by Margaret Thatcher, who, apparently unaware of Benn's service in World War II and the loss of his brother, stated that "he would not enjoy the freedom of speech that he put to such excellent use unless people had been prepared to fight for it".37
For the 1983 election Benn's Bristol South East constituency was abolished by boundary changes, and he lost to Michael Cocks the battle to stand in the new seat of Bristol South. Rejecting offers from the new seat of Livingston in Scotland, Benn contested Bristol East, losing to Conservative candidate Jonathan Sayeed in what was perceived to be a shock result. He was selected for the next Labour seat to fall vacant, and was elected for Chesterfield in a by-election after Eric Varley resigned to head Coalite. On the day of the by-election, 1 March 1984, The Sun newspaper ran a hostile feature article "Benn on the Couch", which purported to be the opinions of an American psychiatrist.38 In the period since Benn's defeat in Bristol, Michael Foot had stepped down after the general election in June 1983 (which saw Labour return a mere 209 MPs) and was succeeded in October of that year by Neil Kinnock.39
Benn was a prominent supporter of the 1984–1985 UK miners' strike and of his long-standing friend, the National Union of Mineworkers leader Arthur Scargill. However, some miners considered Benn's 1977 industry reforms to have caused problems during the strike; firstly, that they led to huge wage differences and distrust between miners of different regions; and secondly that the controversy over balloting miners for these reforms made it unclear as to whether a ballot was needed for a strike or whether it could be deemed as a "regional matter" in the same way that the 1977 reforms had been.4041
In June 1985, three months after the miners admitted defeat and ended their strike, Benn introduced the Miners' Amnesty (General Pardon) Bill into the Commons, which would have extended an amnesty to all miners imprisoned during the strike. This would have included two men convicted of murder (later reduced to manslaughter) for the killing of David Wilkie, a taxi driver driving a non-striking miner to work in South Wales during the strike.42
Benn stood for election as Party Leader in 1988, against Neil Kinnock, following Labour's third successive defeat in the 1987 general election, and lost by a substantial margin.43 During the Gulf War, he visited Baghdad to persuade Saddam Hussein to release the hostages who had been captured.44 He was one of the very few MPs to oppose the Kosovo War.
In 1991, with Labour still in opposition and a general election due by June 1992, he proposed the Commonwealth of Britain Bill, abolishing the Monarchy in favour of the United Kingdom becoming a "democratic, federal and secular commonwealth", a republic with a written constitution. It was read in Parliament a number of times until his retirement at the 2001 election, but never achieved a second reading.45 He presented an account of his proposal in Common Sense: A New Constitution for Britain.46
Benn did not stand at the 2001 general election; as he explained it, he was "leaving parliament in order to spend more time on politics".47 Along with Edward Heath, Benn was given the privilege of being able to continue using the House of Commons Library and Members' refreshment facilities by the Speaker. Shortly after his retirement, he was approached by the Stop the War Coalition, and was asked to become its President, an offer he accepted.44 He thus became a leading figure of the British opposition to the War on Iraq, and in February 2003 he travelled to Baghdad to meet Saddam Hussein. The interview was shown on British television.48 He spoke against the war at the February 2003 protest in London organised by the Stop the War Coalition, attended by over 1 million people.49 In February 2004 and 2008, he was re-elected President of the Stop the War Coalition.50
He has toured with a one-man stage show and appears a few times each year in a two-man show with folk singer Roy Bailey. In 2003, his show with Bailey was voted 'Best Live Act' at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.51 In 2002 he opened the "Left Field" stage at the Glastonbury Festival. He has continued to speak at each subsequent festival with attending one of his speeches being described as a "Glastonbury rite of passage".52 In October 2003, he was a guest of British Airways on the last scheduled Concorde flight from New York to London.53 In June 2005, Benn was a panellist on a special edition of BBC1's Question Time edited entirely by a school-age film crew selected by a BBC competition.54
On 21 June 2005, Benn presented a programme on democracy as part of the Channel 5 series Big Ideas That Changed The World. He presented a left-wing view of democracy as the means to pass power from the "wallet to the ballot". He argued that traditional social democratic values were under threat in an increasingly globalised world in which powerful institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the European Commission are unelected and unaccountable to those whose lives they affect daily.55
On 27 September 2005, Benn became ill while at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton and was taken by ambulance to the Royal Sussex County Hospital after being treated by paramedics at the Brighton Centre. Benn reportedly fell and struck his head. He was kept in hospital for observation and was described as being in a "comfortable condition".56 He was subsequently fitted with an artificial pacemaker to help regulate his heartbeat.57 In a list compiled by the magazine New Statesman in 2006, he was voted twelfth in the list of "Heroes of our Time".58
In September 2006, Benn joined the "Time to Go" demonstration in Manchester the day before the start of the final Labour Party Conference with Tony Blair as Party Leader, with the aim of persuading the Labour Government to withdraw troops from Iraq, to refrain from attacking Iran and to reject replacing the Trident missile and submarines with a new system. He spoke to the demonstrators in the rally afterwards along with other politicians and journalists, including George Galloway and members of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.59 In 2007, he appeared in an extended segment in the Michael Moore film Sicko giving comments about democracy, social responsibility, and health care.
|Wikinews has related news: Wikinews interviews: Tony Benn on U.K. politics|
A poll by the BBC2 The Daily Politics programme in January 2007 selected Benn as the UK's "Political Hero" with 38% of the vote, beating Margaret Thatcher with 35% and five other contenders: Alex Salmond, Leader of the Scottish National Party; Clare Short, Independent MP; Neil Kinnock, previous Labour Party Leader; Norman Tebbit, previous Conservative Party Chairman; and Shirley Williams, one of the 'gang of four' who founded the Social Democratic Party.4
In August 2007, during both the War in Afghanistan (2001–present) and Iraq War, Benn backed the British Daily Mirror tabloid newspaper's medals for the brave campaign. Which they described as 'a special award for service people who are wounded or killed.' Mr Benn told the Mirror: "Certainly I agree the bravery of our servicemen and women abroad should be recognised. Such a medal is a good idea.", "The main thing is that they should be properly cared for when they are wounded or their relatives and loved ones looked after if they are killed.", "But a medal such as the one you are talking about would be a good thing for our troops."60
In the 2007 Labour Party leadership election, Benn backed the left-wing MP John McDonnell in his unsuccessful bid. In September 2007, Benn called for the government to hold a referendum on the EU Reform Treaty.61 In October 2007, at the age of 82, and when it appeared that a general election was about to be held, Benn reportedly announced that he wanted to stand, having written to his local Kensington and Chelsea Constituency Labour Party offering himself as a prospective candidate for the seat held by the Conservative Malcolm Rifkind.6263 However, there was no election in 2007, and the Kensington and Chelsea seat was abolished.
In September 2008, Benn appeared on the DVD release for the Doctor Who story The War Machines with a vignette discussing the Post Office Tower; he became the second Labour politician, after Roy Hattersley to appear in a Doctor Who DVD.64 Also in 2008, Benn appeared on track 12 "Pay Attention to the Human" on Colin MacIntyre's The Water album.65
At the Stop the War Conference 2009, he described the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as "Imperialist war(s)" and discussed the killing of American and allied troops by Iraqi or foreign insurgents, questioning whether they were in fact freedom fighters, and comparing the insurgents to a British Dad's Army, saying "If you are invaded you have a right to self defence, and this idea that people in Iraq and Afghanistan who are resisting the invasion are militant Muslim extremists is a complete bloody lie. I joined Dad's Army when I was sixteen, and if the Germans had arrived, I tell you, I could use a bayonet, a rifle, a revolver, and if I'd seen a German officer having a meal I'd have tossed a grenade through the window. Would I have been a freedom fighter or a terrorist?"66
In an interview published in Dartford Living in September 2009, Benn was critical of the Government's decision to delay the findings of the Iraq War Inquiry until after the General Election, stating that "people can take into account what the inquiry has reported on but they’ve deliberately pushed it beyond the election. Government is responsible for explaining what it has done and I don’t think we were told the truth."67 He also stated that local government was strangled by Margaret Thatcher and had not been liberated by New Labour.67
In 2009 Benn was admitted to hospital and An Evening with Tony Benn, scheduled to take place at London's Cadogan Hall, was cancelled.68 He resumed a tour of these shows in 2010. He performed his show The Writing on the Wall with Roy Bailey at St Mary's Church, Ashford, Kent in September 2011 as part of the arts venue's first Revelation St Mary's Season.69 In July 2011 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Glamorgan, Wales.70
In November 2011 it was reported that Benn had moved out of his home in Holland Park Avenue, London, into a smaller £750,000 flat nearby which benefits from a warden.71
Benn has been a prolific diarist: eight volumes of his diaries have been published (the first six collected as ISBN 0-09-963411-2, the penultimate available as ISBN 0-09-941502-X). He has now stopped writing them following a stroke, and in April 2012 was reportedly working on the final volume.72 Collections of his speeches and writings were published as Arguments for Socialism (1979), Arguments for Democracy (1981), (both edited by Chris Mullin), Fighting Back (1988) and (with Andrew Hood) Common Sense (1993), as well as Free Radical: New Century Essays (2004). In August 2003, London DJ Charles Bailey created an album of Benn's speeches (ISBN 1-904734-03-0) set to ambient groove.
He has made public several episodes of audio diaries he made during his time in Parliament and after retirement, entitled 'The Benn Tapes', broadcast originally on BBC Radio 4. Short series have been played periodically on BBC Radio 7.73 A major biography was written by Jad Adams and published by Macmillan in 1992; it was updated to cover the intervening 20 years and reissued by Biteback Publishing in 2011: Tony Benn: A Biography (ISBN 0-333-52558-2) A more recent 'semi-authorised' biography with a foreword by Benn was published in 2001: David Powell, Tony Benn: A Political Life, Continuum Books (ISBN 978-0826464156). An autobiography, Dare to be a Daniel: Then and Now, Hutchinson (ISBN 978-0099471530), was published in 2004.
There are substantial essays on Benn in the Dictionary of Labour Biography by Phillip Whitehead, Greg Rosen [ed], Politicos Publishing, 2001 (ISBN 978-1902301181) and in Labour Forces: From Ernie Bevin to Gordon Brown, Kevin Jefferys [ed], I. B. Taurus Publishing, 2002 (ISBN 978-1860647437). Michael Moore dedicates his book Mike's Election Guide 2008 (ISBN 978-0141039817) to Benn with: "For Tony Benn, keep teaching us".74
During his final years in Parliament, Benn placed three plaques within the Houses of Parliament. Two are in the 'Suffragettes room' (next to the Central Lobby). The first was placed in 1995. The second was placed in 1996 and is dedicated to all who work within the Houses of Parliament.
The third is dedicated to Suffragette Emily Wilding-Davison and was placed in the broom cupboard next to the Undercroft Chapel within the Palace of Westminster, where Davison is said to have hidden during the 1911 census in order to establish her address as the House of Commons.75
- Tony Benn (2007). More Time for Politics: Diaries 2001–2007. London: Hutchinson. p. 223.
- Re Parliamentary Election for Bristol South East  2 Q.B. 257,  3 W.L.R. 577
- Renton, Dave (February 1997). "Does Labour's Left Have an Alternative?". Socialist Review. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- "The Magnificent Seven political heroes...". BBC News (BBC). 12 December 2006. Retrieved 4 October 2007.
- "Collection – The Rt Hon Tony Benn MP –". Art in Parliament. UK Parliament. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
- "Tony Benn – Official Website". tonybenn.com. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- Hale, Leslie (January 2008). "Benn, William Wedgwood" (Subscription required). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2 May 2010. More than one of
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- Brodie, Marc (January 2008). "Benn, Sir John Williams" (Subscription required). Oxford National Dictionary of Biography Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
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- "Tony Benn: You Ask The Questions". The Independent (London: Independent News and Media). 19 August 2005. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- Benn, Tony (2003). Free Radical. Continuum. p. 226. ISBN 0-8264-6596-X.
- "Mr Benn wipes away his past". The Times Diary (Times Newspapers). 18 March 1976.
- "Not Out". The Times Diary (Times newspapers). 4 April 1977.
- "Tony Benn". The Biography Channel. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
- "William Wedgwood Benn". Spartacus Educational. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
- "Caroline Benn". Daily Telegraph (London: Telegraph Media Group). 24 November 2000. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- "Benn's granddaughter runs for MP". BBC News (BBC). 25 September 2007. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- Skinitis, Alexia (10 January 2009). "Emily Benn the younger". Times Online (London: Times Newspapers). Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- French, Philip (26 July 2009). "Philip French's screen legends: Margaret Rutherford". Guardian News and Media (London). Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- "The Benn dynasty". BBC News (BBC). 11 June 1999. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- "New Members Sworn". Hansard. House of Commons. 4 December 1950. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- "New Members Sworn". Hansard. House of Commons. 5 December 1950. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- "Profile: Tony Benn". BBC Bristol. BBC. 4 April 2008. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- "Disclaiming a peerage". BBC News (London: British Broadcasting Corporation). 14 July 2005. Retrieved 7 June 2008.
- "A Revolution in British Stamp Design". The British Postal Museum and Archive. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- Lynskey, Dorian (27 March 2009). "All bands on deck: Director Richard Curtis and DJ Johnnie Walker on the making of The Boat That Rocked". The Guardian (London: Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- "UK Confidential Transcripts: Tony Benn – The Labour Minister". BBC News (BBC). 1 January 2002. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- Benn, Tony (1995). The Benn Diaries. Arrow. p. 432. ISBN 978-0-09-963411-9.
- Powell, David (2003). Tony Benn: a political life (2 ed.). London & New York: Continuum. pp. 82, 84. ISBN 0-8264-7074-2.
- Benn, Tony (1988). Out of the Wilderness: Diaries 1963–67. Arrow. p. Introduction. ISBN 978-0-09-958670-8.
- Kavanagh, Dennis (1990). "Tony Benn: Nuisance or Conscience?". In Kavanagh, Dennis. Politics and Personalities. Macmillan. p. 184. ISBN 978-0-333-51580-8.
- Kavanagh, Dennis (1990). "Tony Benn: Nuisance or Conscience?". In Kavanagh, Dennis. Politics and Personalities. Macmillan. p. 178. ISBN 978-0-333-51580-8.
- Whiteley, Paul (11 January 1980). "The Labour Party: Middle Class, Militant and Male". New Statesman: 41–42. More than one of
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- "Benn's call for SF to take seats". BBC News. 12 May 2005. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- Emery, Fred (30 September 1980). "Mr Benn proposes timetable of one month to abolish Lords and leave EEC" (Subscription required). The Times, archived by Gale Group (Times Newspapers). Retrieved 3 May 2010.
- Taylor, Gary (February 2001). "Media Review: The Transformation Of Labour". Contemporary Review (findarticle.com): 2–4. Retrieved 3 May 2010.dead link
- "House of Commons Statement: Falkland Islands". Margaret Thatcher Foundation. 15 June 1982. Retrieved 4 October 2007.
- "Benn on the couch". The Sun (News international). 1 March 1984.
- "Labour's new line-up" (Subscription required). The Times, archived by Gale Group (Times Newspapers). 3 November 1983. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
- "Chapter 06; ...1974 strike...a conversation with miners...Labour government... ...Benn helps divide miners...". libcom.org. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
- Robertson, Jack (23 April 2010). "25 years after the Great Miners’ Strike". International Socialism (London: Socialist Workers Party) (126). Retrieved 3 May 2010.
- "Miners' Amnesty (General Pardon)". Hansard. House of Commons. 28 June 1985. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- Durkin, Mary. "Leadership Elections: Labour Party" (PDF). House of Commons Library. Retrieved 3 May 2010. More than one of
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- "Commonwealth of Britain Bill". Hansard. House of Commons. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
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- Gary Younge "The stirrer", The Guardian, 20 July 2002
- "Full text of Benn interview with Saddam". BBC News. 4 February 2003. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
- "'Million' march against Iraq war". BBC News. 16 February 2003. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
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- Speeches, Spokesman Books (1974) ISBN 0851240917
- Levellers and the English Democratic Tradition, Spokesman Books (1976) ISBN 978-0-85124-633-8
- Why America Needs Democratic Socialism, Spokesman Books (1978) ISBN 978-0-85124-266-8
- Prospects, Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers, Technical, Administrative and Supervisory Section (1979)
- Case for Constitutional Civil Service, Inst. for Workers' Control (1980) ISBN 978-0-901740-67-0
- Case for Party Democracy, Inst. for Workers' Control (1980) ISBN 978-0-901740-70-0
- Arguments for Socialism, Penguin Books (1980) ISBN 978-0-14-005489-7
- & Chris Mullin, Arguments for Democracy, Jonathan Cape (1981) ISBN 978-0-224-01878-4
- European Unity: A New Perspective, Spokesman Books (1981) ISBN 978-0-85124-326-9
- Parliament and Power: Agenda for a Free Society, Verso Books (1982) ISBN 978-0-86091-057-2
- & Andrew Hood, Common Sense: New Constitution for Britain, Hutchinson (1993)
- Free Radical: New Century Essays, Continuum International Publishing (2004) ISBN 978-0-8264-7400-1
- Dare to Be a Daniel: Then and Now, Hutchinson (2004) ISBN 978-0-09-179999-1
- Letters to my Grandchildren: Thoughts on the Future, Arrow Books (2010) ISBN 978-0-09-953909-4
- Out of the Wilderness: Diaries 1963–67, Hutchinson (1987) ISBN 978-0-09-170660-9
- Office Without Power: Diaries 1968–72, Hutchinson (1988) ISBN 978-0-09-173647-7
- Against the Tide: Diaries 1973–76, Hutchinson (1989) ISBN 978-0-09-173775-7
- Conflicts of Interest: Diaries 1977–80, Hutchinson (1990) ISBN 978-0-09-174321-5
- The End of an Era: Diaries 1980–90, Hutchinson (1992) ISBN 978-0-09-174857-9
- Years of Hope: Diaries 1940–62, Hutchinson (1994) ISBN 978-0-09-178534-5
- The Benn Diaries: Single Volume Edition 1940–90, Hutchinson (1995) ISBN 978-0-09-179223-7
- Free at Last!: Diaries 1991–2001, Hutchinson (2002) ISBN 978-0-09-179352-4
- More Time for Politics: Diaries 2001–2007, Hutchinson (2007) ISBN 978-0-09-951705-4
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Tony Benn|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Tony Benn|
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Tony Benn
- Unofficial Tony Benn site with extensive interview, articles, audio and visual
- 'Face-to-Face with Tony Benn'. Freeview video interview by the Vega Science Trust
- Unofficial Tony Benn Quotation site
- Tony Benn's interview with The Third Estate.
- Andrew Roth. Tony Benn Chesterfield and Bristol South East MP, The Guardian, 25 March 2001.
- Guardian web guide to the veteran leftwinger Tony Benn
- Tony Benn interview for Leftfield appearances at the Glastonbury Festival
- Tony Benn. Atomic hypocrisy: West is not in a position to take a high moral line, The Guardian, 30 November 2005.
- Amy Goodman. Interview with Tony Benn: How Britain secretly helped Israel build its nuclear arsenal, Democracy Now!, 10 March 2006.
- Benn in the 1960s as seen by Private Eye
- Audio interview with The Guardian.
- His Address to the College Historical Society of Trinity College
- Interview with Tony Benn – Radio France Internationale – 28 March 2008 – 6-minute audio – Ahead of G20 marches, London
- Tony Benn on Tony Blair: "He Is Guilty of a War Crime" – video report by Democracy Now!
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