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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 November 2005, 13:38 GMT
Campaigner for Gypsy rights dies
Charles Smith was the CRE's first Gypsy Commissioner
Charles Smith was the CRE's first Gypsy Commissioner
A man who fought for equality for the Gypsy and traveller communities has died of cancer aged 49.

Charles Smith, who was the Commission for Racial Equality's (CRE) first Gypsy Commissioner died at his home in Thundersley, Essex, on Monday night.

Mr Smith, who was also chairman of the Gypsy Council, had championed their rights for more than three decades.

"He reconnected the CRE with Gypsy and traveller communities," said Trevor Phillips, chairman of the CRE.

"Since his appointment as a CRE commissioner in April 2004, his contribution and insight to the commission's work on Gypsies and travellers, as well as other spheres of work, has been invaluable.

"He will be sorely missed and our thoughts are with his partner, George, and family and friends at this very sad time."

Mr Smith had suffered from cancer for 10 years.




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