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Journalist who campaigned for Clement Attlee dies aged 89

Reg CopleyA journalist-turned-Labour councillor who also worked for former Prime Minsiter Clement Attlee has died aged 89.

Tributes have been paid to Reg Copley, left, who freelanced for newspapers across Essex and was also well-known in political circles.

Reg was a Labour councillor in Southend for a total of four decades, gaining his first seat in 1963 and losing his last one in 2004, and also served as mayor of the seaside town from 1995 to 1996.

His political career had started as a campaigner on Attlee’s General Election campaigns in the early 1950s, which he undertook after completing his service in the RAF during the Second World War.

Southen Labour councillor Julian Ware-Lane said: “He was a figure that a lot of people knew about. Even in my ward of Milton, people would know him.

“It was part to do with his longevity but mainly to do with his campaigning. He was a man of the people and he was a progressive man.

“Reg stands out as a real character and a nice, intelligent guy. He was longstanding and outstanding.”

Former Basildon Labour MP Agela Smith added: “He was totally and utterly committed to the council, especially his ward. His commitment to the Labour Party was totally ingrained in him.

“For many years, when I was an MP, he would always ring me with ideas. He didn’t lose his enthusiasm.”