I agree with Neil Burgess that Adam Trimingham gives an incomplete and ill-judged picture of Tony Benn (The Argus, May 23 and Letters, May 27).

Whatever his faults, Benn has always been one of the most honest MPs in the House of Commons. In spite of his public school and university background, he is no snob.

He renounced an hereditary peerage and a seat in the House of Lords to become simply Tony Benn and continued to be an honest and respected MP.

He did not "idolise the working class because he did not understand them" but stood up for the under-privileged, whoever they might be. He was a fighter for social justice.

I once heard him say that he was not a Marxist but a Christian Socialist. He owed much to the influence of his mother, who was a devout Congregationalist Christian, and Christian compassion has influenced his life and politics.

Benn once told an audience that a hymn he learned as a child in a Christian temperance meeting influenced his life as a politician.

One of its verses ran: "Dare to be a Daniel, Dare to stand alone, Dare to have a purpose firm, And dare to make it known."

Would to God we had more politicians like him.

  • The Rev John Webster, Wilfrid Road, Hove