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Tuesday, December 22, 1998 Published at 17:39 GMT

UK Politics

Tributes to Lord Soper

Lord Soper died on Tuesday

Tributes from the religious and political world are being paid to the Methodist campaigner and Labour peer Lord Soper.

Prime Minister Tony Blair

"Lord Soper was a fine Christian and a man of great integrity and principle.

[ image: Tony Blair:
Tony Blair: "Respect"
"He spoke with both passion and conviction and won the respect of many, many people, even those who did not always agree with what he had to say.

"He will be remembered for his formidable oratory, his sincere beliefs as a Christian socialist and his powerful contributions to the national debate. He will be greatly missed."

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey

[ image: Archbishop Carey:
Archbishop Carey: "Missed"
"Donald's contribution to Methodism and British Christianity has been outstanding. As a teacher, prophet, evangelist and social reformer he stood firmly within the Methodist tradition but his gifts have endowed us all. We shall miss him."

Chris Bryant, chairman of the Christian Socialist Movement

"Donald was one of the greatest Christians that Britain produced in the 20th century.

"He was a man of great integrity and honesty, with an energy way beyond his years. Donald had a wicked sense of humour and as co-founder of the Christian Socialist Movement was a great inspiration and will be greatly missed."

Tory MP David Wilshire

"It is the end of a wonderful ministry, the end of an institution, the end of a character whom everyone respected even though some might have disagreed with him.

"He continued his open-air preaching nearly up to the time of his death and he had an enormous effect on an enormous number of people. Would that there were more like him."

[ image: Stuart Bell:
Stuart Bell: "Inspiration"
Labour MP Stuart Bell

"It was his own inspiration which led me to go into politics and I was happy to tell him so later in life. I went to hear him speak only a few months ago and though his voice had gone his mind was as sharp as ever."

Labour MP Derek Foster

"Donald Soper was a great peacemonger and he will be very sadly missed. It is very difficult to imagine anyone being able to take up his mantle."

Conservative MP Robert Key

[ image: Robert Key:
Robert Key: " A good man"
"He was a great Christian who kept politicians of all parties on their toes.

"In the House of Lords he never missed an opportunity to hold governments to account and to give a strong Christian lead. I may have disagreed with almost all his politics, but I knew a good man when I saw one."

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