I heard some very sad and shocking news earlier today. John Deasy, the long-serving councillor for St George West, has been found dead at his Beaufort Heights home. We're not sure of the details at the moment, but it appears that his neighbour heard him coughing or choking; by the time an ambulance arrived, he was already dead. John - who was a personal friend as well as a Labour Party colleague - had represented St George for the best part of two decades, along with his fellow Labour councillor Ron Stone. He worked on the buses for much of his life, where he was a T&GWU rep, and then at SARI; he was passionate both about his trade unionism and about fighting discrimination. More recently he'd got a job working with people with disabilities, which he loved; he brought a group of them down to parliament for a day trip last year, and had an obvious rapport with them. A sad loss, to the Labour Party and to St. George.
The local Labour Party was also saddened by the news today of the death of Frances Easton. Along with her late husband, George - who was a well-known local councillor - and her sister, Margaret Davey, Frances was a stalwart of Bristol East Labour Party and was also active in her local church, St. Lukes in Brislington. Frances, who was in her nineties, had been ill for some time. She gave many years of service to the Labour Party, and will be remembered with great fondness.