Corbyn leads tributes after death of veteran Labour activist

Veteran Labour activist Walter Wolfgang has died aged 95, with Jeremy Corbyn leading tributes to the “courageous moral leader”.

Mr Wolfgang found himself in the public eye after being ejected by security at the 2005 Labour conference for heckling then-foreign secretary Jack Straw during a speech on Iraq.

Labour heckler elected to party’s ruling body
Police officers lead Walter Wolfgang away from the Labour Party conference in Brighton (Andrew Parsons/PA)

The veteran peace campaigner, then 82, shouted “nonsense” and images of him being removed from the conference hall proved a major embarrassment to the leadership.

Deeply saddened to hear that my old friend Walter Wolfgang has died.He escaped Nazi Germany and has campaigned for…

Posted by Jeremy Corbyn on Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Mr Corbyn said he was “deeply saddened” by the death of his “old friend”.

“He escaped Nazi Germany and has campaigned for peace and socialism ever since, including his passionate opposition to the Iraq War,” Mr Corbyn said.

“I visited Walter in the hospital shortly before he died. He was very ill but his mind was still sharp.

“I asked him to record a message on my phone. He said: ‘The object of the Labour Party and the peace movement is a peaceful world without exploitation.’

“That’s what Walter taught me for all the years I knew him. He was a very dear friend and a courageous moral leader.

“Yesterday, we said our goodbyes. He will be greatly missed.”

We're very sad to learn that Walter Wolfgang has died. Walter was a founding member of CND and on the committee which organised the first Aldermaston march. Active with CND until the very end, we say thank you for the enormous contribution Walter made to peace and disarmament.

— CND (@CNDuk) May 29, 2019

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament also paid tribute to Mr Wolfgang, a founding member of the group.

“We say thank you for the enormous contribution Walter made to peace and disarmament,” CND said on Twitter.

Unite union chief Len McCluskey said Mr Wolfgang was a “lifelong socialist and man of peace who had no trouble calling out the Iraq war lies”.

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