The family of campaigner and councillor Nicholas Russell have requested that funeral guests bring a single red flower to the service next week

Nicholas Russell

Nicholas Russell

First published in News
Last updated
East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter - Waltham Forest

The funeral of a councilor described as a ‘tireless campaigner’ will be held next week.

Nicholas Russell, who died on August 17 from a suspected heart attack aged 44, was a former Labour councillor in Cann Hall ward.

Councillor Russell, the grandson of philosopher and activist Betrand Russell, lived in Leytonstone with his fiancé Georgina Farrer.

Mr Russell was the 6th Earl Russel and an active disability rights campaigner.

As Campaigns Officer for the Royal National Institute of the Blind and a regional board member of the Co-operative Group, he helped to secure legislation allowing guide dogs to be allowed in London Taxis.

Mr Russell was also a former chair of Disability Labour and the group’s representative on the party's National Policy Forum, NEC equalities sub-committee and the Socialist Societies executive.

He was a governor for Davies Lane Primary School in Leytonstone, and helped the school secure an outstanding report by Ofsted.

In a joint statement from his brother John Russell and his wife Jane, Nicholas Russell is described as a ‘brilliant campaigner’ and ‘old-fashioned community councillor’.

“He was happiest when sitting around the kitchen tables of his neighbours, with his cat Moo sitting on his chest, talking intensely about politics.

“He was not a party apparatchik; he was a caring community-focused, sometimes gloriously uncompromising individual.”

Mr Russell’s family has offered an open invitation to those who knew or worked with him to celebrate his life with the on September 4.

The service will be held at City of London Cemetery and Crematorium at 3.15pm.

Anyone attending is asked to wear one red item of clothing and to bring a single red flower.

The wake will be held at the Waltham Forest Resources Hub.

Donations should be made to Whizz-kidz for disabled children, Stay Safe East which supports abuse victims or The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).

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