Beatty Orwell, Labour’s oldest member, dies aged 105

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Beatty Orwell, Labour’s oldest member, dies aged 105

Jewish Care lead the tributes to Orwell who the charity said was a 'remarkable role model to us all'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Beatty Orwell, Labour's oldest member, who died aged 105
Beatty Orwell, Labour's oldest member, who died aged 105

Jewish Care has led tributes to Beatty Orwell, the oldest member of the Labour Party, who has died at her Tower Hamlets home at the grand old age of 105.

Orwell, who grew up in Aldgate, was interested in politics from any early age and joined the famous Battle of Cable Street in 1936 against Oswald Mosley’s fascists.

Her husband John became Mayor of Tower Hamlets in 1966, while Beatty was Mayoress and after his death in 1972 she became a councillor in her own right.

Jewish Care chief executive Daniel Carmel-Brown said Orwell was “a truly remarkable person and a role model to us all.”

He added:”She was never afraid to stand up for what she believed in and to fight for others. She inspired an abundance of love, warmth and sense of community.”

Beatty joined Jewish Care’s Brenner Stepney Jewish Community Centre around 20 years ago.

In 2020, when her physical health prevented her from attending “the Club”, as she called it, friends, staff and volunteers stayed in touch, visiting Beatty at home, where her family took turns to be with her.

Her children June, Benny and Maureen said that were saddened at her passing.

They added: “But how lucky we are to have had mum in our lives all this time.

“She worked hard all her life and along the way met the Queen at Buckingham Palace and had tea at 10 Downing Street and met then Prime Minister Harold Wilson. It really isn’t bad for a girl from Petticoat Lane.”

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