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Former Labour minister and MEP Baroness Kinnock dies

Pa
Monday, Dec 04, 2023

LONDON: Baroness Glenys Kinnock died peacefully in her sleep on Sunday with her husband and former Labour Party leader Lord Kinnock by her side, her family said.

She served as a minister in the New Labour government and also represented Wales in the European Parliament as an MEP.Her family, which includes Labour MP Stephen Kinnock and daughter Rachel, said they were “devastated” by her death.

Mr Kinnock, who serves as the shadow immigration minister, said he was “heartbroken” and called his mother “a truly formidable person in every single way”.Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer called her a “true fighter” for the party as he paid tribute to her life and career.

The 79-year-old had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s six years ago. In a statement to PA news agency, her family said: “It is with the deepest sorrow that we announce the death of Glenys Kinnock.

“Glenys died peacefully in her sleep in the early hours of Sunday morning, at home in London.“She was the beloved wife and life partner of Neil, the cherished mother of Steve and Rachel and an adored grandmother.

“Neil was with her in her final moments. They had been married for 56 years.“A proud democratic socialist, she campaigned, in Britain and internationally, for justice and against poverty all her life.”Baroness Kinnock served as an MEP for some 15 years before leaving Brussels in 2009 to take up a life peerage when then prime minister Gordon Brown appointed her minister for Europe.

Her son Mr Kinnock tweeted his own heartfelt tribute to his mother.The Labour MP for Aberavon wrote: “Heartbroken that my Mum passed away peacefully in her sleep last night, after many years of Alzheimer’s.

“She was a beloved Mum & Nain who was adored by her family & friends.“A truly formidable person in every single way, and with such a cheeky sense of humour! Rest in peace.”Sir Keir said Baroness Kinnock was a “passionate lifelong campaigner for social justice at home and abroad” who had an “impressive political career” in her own right.

Sir Tony, who led Labour between 1994 and 2007, described her as “incredibly smart, brave, determined and resolute in standing up for what she believed was right”.

Offering his condolences to Lord Kinnock’s family, he said: “Whether in fighting the cause of development, and the eradication of global poverty, social justice in Britain, equality for women or making the case for a European Union of weight and influence in the world, Glenys was passionate and persuasive.“She was of course an enormous support to Neil but she was a leader in her own right. And as a couple, they were a joy to be near, full of fun, the life and soul of any gathering. Glenys will be mourned in many countries and corners of the earth.”