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Tony Benn funeral: Sinn Fein chiefs Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness join MPs for funeral of political titan

By Sam Lister and Joe Churcher

Labour stalwart Tony Benn has been given an emotional send-off as figures as diverse as a former IRA commander, hard-right Tory opponents and a TV impressionist gathered in Westminster to pay their respects.

Cherie Blair joined Labour figures, including leader Ed Miliband and shadow chancellor Ed Balls in St Margaret's Church for the funeral of the former cabinet minister, whose died earlier this month at the age of 88.

But, in a mark of Mr Benn's influence and standing, the congregation also drew figures from across the political spectrum.

Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, an ex-IRA commander, joined Tories including Michael Heseltine and prominent backbencher Bill Cash, and former Liberal leader Lord Steel for the ceremony.

"He was an internationalist, as well as a stalwart friend and advocate for peace in Ireland and for Irish unity," said Mr Adams.

Belfast Telegraph


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