Tributes are being paid to the Catholic priest and anti-nuclear campaigner Bruce Kent who has died at the age of 92.
Bruce Kent was the driving force behind the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and was known as the most controversial Catholic priest of his generation.
His family said he died after a short illness.
He remained Vice-President of CND, a Vice-President of Pax Christi, and Emeritus President of the Movement for the Abolition of War up until he died.
A statement released to Premier said : "It is with great sadness, but deep gratitude for his life and gifts, that Bruce Kent's family announce his death, on 8 June after a short illness. He would have been 93 on 22 June."
Bruce Kent was ordained priest in the Diocese of Westminster after National Service in the Royal Tank Regiment. Between 1958 and 1987 he served in several London parishes and as the Roman Catholic chaplain to the University of London.
As a leading spokesperson for the CND in the 1980s, Kent became well known as a formidable opponent of Margaret Thatcher's defence policy at a time when public opposition to the acquisition of Trident, and Cruise missiles, was escalating.
His commitment to innumerable peace and human rights campaigns over many decades included the Campaign Against the Arms Trade, for the reform of the United Nations, and the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. He was also actively concerned about the welfare of prisoners, especially those maintaining their innocence, and prison reform.
In April 2021 he and his wife, Valerie Flessati were awarded the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lambeth Cross for Ecumenism "for exceptional, tireless and lifelong dedication to the Christian ecumenical search for peace, both individually and together."
Paying tribute, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC said :
"I have known Bruce Kent since my student days in the early seventies when he was Catholic Chaplain to London University. He was a huge influence on my life and his commitment to peace and human rights was inspirational. He wanted a more compassionate and inclusive Church and a more decent and just society. He lived out his faith in everything he did - for the marginalised and the poor - and he gave his all with such a great sense of fun. He was one of the finest human beings I have ever met."
Malcolm McMahon op, Archbishop of Liverpool, and President of Pax Christi England & Wales said:
"Peacemakers across the world will saddened to hear of the death of Bruce Kent who made a lasting contribution to the peace movement within the Christian churches and much farther afield. Personally, I'll miss him for being a wonderfully warm human being. May he now rest in the Peace of Christ to which he dedicated his life."
Reiner Braun, Executive Director of the International Peace Bureau said :
"It is seldom we call someone a 'peace hero' because, as peace activists we are generally against such terms. But Bruce was one of these historical peace figures with his deep, lifelong, emotional and argumentative engagement for peace. We are doing everything to continue the work in his spirit."
Kate Hudson, General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament also paid tribute:
"Bruce Kent transformed the scope and confidence of the anti-nuclear movement beyond all recognition. His leadership of CND in the 1980s was the embodiment of integrity, creativity and sheer determination. Bruce's razor-sharp intellect, together with his humour, tireless work, intolerance of flannel, and total commitment to his faith and principles, made him a leader of our movement beyond compare. He will be much missed."