RMT leader Bob Crow has died aged 52, the Press Association is reporting. Only yesterday the union boss was giving broadcast interviews, including this one on BBC Radio 4′s PM programme. The RMT released a statement this morning saying:

‘It is with the deepest regret that RMT has to confirm that our General Secretary Bob Crow sadly passed away in the early hours of this morning.

‘The union’s offices will be closed for the rest of the day and the union will make further announcements in due course. The media have been asked to respect the privacy of Bob’s friends and family at this difficult and distressing time.’

Here’s Boris Johnson, Mayor of London:

‘I’m shocked. Bob Crow was a fighter and a man of character. Whatever our political differences, and there were many, this is tragic news. Bob fought tirelessly for his beliefs and for his members. There can be absolutely no doubt that he played a big part in the success of the Tube, and he shared my goal to make transport in London an even greater success. It’s a sad day’

Labour leader Ed Miliband has also released a statement:

‘Bob Crow was a major figure in the labour movement and was loved and deeply respected by his members.

‘I didn’t always agree with him politically but I always respected his tireless commitment to fighting for the men and women in his union. He did what he was elected to do, was not afraid of controversy and was always out supporting his members across the country.

‘He was a passionate defender of and campaigner for safe, affordable public transport and was a lifelong anti-fascist activist.

‘My thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues in the RMT and wider union movement at this difficult time.’

David Cameron’s official spokesman said today:

‘The prime minister expresses his sincere condolences to Mr Crow’s family and friends.’

Nigel Farage, leader of Ukip, has tweeted his tribute:

 

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