MP’s have been paying tribute to the late Tony Benn, who died this morning aged 88.

Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing said she was an “enormous fan” of the former Labour cabinet member, despite having very different views, adding he had been a source of encouragement for her.

Mrs Laing said: “I remember he spoke immediately after I had given one of my first speeches in Parliament as a new MP and he was glowing with his praise about it.

“That event increased my confidence as a parliamentarian greatly.

“He was a man of principal who stuck to his beliefs and values when those around him were changing.”

MP for Brentwood and Ongar, Eric Pickles said: “Tony Benn was a magnificent parliamnetarian - the like of which we  are not likely to see for a very long time.

“He had an enourmous impact on British politics, sometimes for the good, sometimes for tha bad but whatever he said, he could not be ignored.”

Robert Halfon MP for Harlow who represents Roydon and Nazeing tweeted: “A real conviction politician even though I didn’t agree with all his convictions.”