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Benn is animals' Person of the Year

Wednesday December 24th 2014

Former Labour minister Tony Benn, who died aged 88 in March, has been named Person of the Year by animal rights charity Peta UK.

Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) said the veteran politician was being recognised to commemorate "his lifelong commitment to protecting animals, both within and outside the political sphere".

The group's founder Ingrid Newkirk said that during 47 years in office, Benn came to the defence of animals many times, voting against fox hunting in Parliament, protesting against laboratory experiments on live animals and practising vegetarianism for many years.

"An outspoken defender of justice, his advocacy for animals helped open eyes, hearts and minds," said Ms Newkirk. "Mr Benn has left a lasting legacy of respect for animals, for which we are deeply grateful."

Benn follows previous recipients of the Peta UK Person of the Year award including comedian Ricky Gervais, Queen guitarist Brian May, singer Morrissey, actress Pamela Anderson and former James Bond star Sir Roger Moore.

Copyright Press Association 2014