Tribute to Tony Reay

23 Apr 2020

It is with great sadness that we have to inform members that PCS stalwart, Tony Reay, passed away today.

After a long, courageous battle against cancer, in which Tony remained totally committed to PCS and to our members throughout, Tony's battle is finally over.

Tony was well known across PCS, both within DWP and nationally. He was a leading activist in London, having held roles at group, regional and national level, and was admired by many for his passion and commitment which always shone through in his conference speeches.

Between us, we have known Tony for over 30 years. Tony represented the very best in PCS. Totally committed to representing members, even whilst in St Thomas's Hospital and later a hospice, Tony spent a lifetime campaigning. Whether it was Saving Deptford Jobcentre, fighting for decent social security or trying to get his beloved Labour party elected, Tony never gave up. Both of us recall hospital visits before Christmas when, instead of dwelling on his own poor health, Tony was far more interested in discussing the general election.    

He was also very kind. Wherever you stood politically, Tony would debate and make his arguments, always with humour and without any sectarian malice. A rare gift to have.

Tony's aim was to keep going long enough to collect his PCS Honorary Life Membership award at PCS Annual Delegate Conference in May and sadly he didn't quite get there. Due to coronavirus that conference will not go ahead in May, but if it had we are sure that there would have been many moving tributes to Tony from across PCS.   

We are committed to ensuring that when the time is right, Tony gets the recognition and the send-off he deserves from PCS and that we mark his passing in an appropriate way.

Our condolences go to his family, friends and comrades at this sad time. 

Mark Serwotka - General secretary

Fran Heathcote - President

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