Tony Benn was born in London and retired from the House of Commons in May 2001, after fifty years in Parliament, the longest serving Labour MP in the history of the party, which he joined in 1942.
He was a Cabinet minister in the Wilson and Callaghan governments from 1964 – 79, as Minister of Technology, Secretary of State for both Industry and Energy and President of the Council of European Energy ministers in 1977.
An elected member of the National Executive Committee of the Labour party from 1959 – 1994, he was Chairman of the Party in 1971/2.
His published Diaries in seven volumes cover the period from 1942-1990, and the next volume ‘ Free at Last’ from 1990 – 2001
The holder of seven honorary Doctorates from British and American universities, he has just been appointed as a Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics and is a regular broadcaster.
In 1949 he married Caroline Benn, educationalist and author of the biography of Keir Hardie who died in 2000 and they have four children and ten grandchildren.