Former Preston MP Ron Atkins has died aged 104.Advertisement
Mr Atkins passed away peacefully at home on Thursday (30 December).
The Labour politician served the city as MP for Preston North between 1966 and 1970, and again from 1974 to 1979. He later became a councillor on Preston City Council until retiring aged 92.
Mr Atkins leaves a widow, Ashton Councillor Elizabeth Atkins, and wider family.
The BBC reports that Mrs Atkins said her husband had “devoted his life to the Labour Party” and was “driven by making the world better”.
She added: “He was staunch Labour all his life and highly respected.
“He was a real guiding force; the Labour group in Preston called him ‘the guru’.”
Leader of Preston City Council, Councillor Matthew Brown, said: “Ron was an amazing person who spent his long life fighting for the rights of working people and against injustice and prejudice.
“Despite his advanced years I always found Ron to have a youthful and really open mind. He was someone who would act out of principle even if it went against the grain of popular opinion.
“As a Labour Group we send our condolences to his widow Liz and his wider family, all of whom have been active in Labour politics in Preston.
“Ron was a committed socialist who will be sorely missed.”
Plungington Councillor Pav Akhtar described Mr Atkins’ death as a sad loss, saying he was “a proud, passionate, and principled champion of the city and people of Preston”.
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