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'Brilliant and remarkable' Hackney Labour party member dies at 80

PUBLISHED: 16:30 17 September 2012

Greta Karpin, a long standing member of Hackney's labour party, has died from a heart attack

Greta Karpin, a long standing member of Hackney's labour party, has died from a heart attack

Hackney Council

The longest serving member in Hackney's Labour party has died at the age of 80 after attending a constituency meeting.

Greta Karpin, born in 1932, was the secretary of Hackney North and Stoke Newington Labour party and the Hackney Borough Local Campaign Forum.

Diane Abbott MP said in the House of Commons that Greta was a “brilliant and remarkable woman. Had she been born at another time and in another place, she would no doubt have been an MP or a cabinet minister”.

The Hackney Labour party have said Greta was the “life and soul of the party”, “fighting for ordinary folk” until the end.

She grew up in the East End and was a Labour party and trade union activist since the 1940s. in the meeting just hours before she died, Greta was determined Hackney should send a contingent to the TUC march in October and raised the issue of campaigning on the changes to council tax benefit to protect “our” people, as she put it.

Her friend Jennette Arnold remembers her: “Greta had many aspects to her life – the Labour Party, and political life in general, remained a core part of her; but she was also a bit of a foodie; a gardener; a pet lover; theatre and music lover; someone who liked to travel.

“We shared a love of shoes and stylish accessories; she was someone who loved a good read; someone who liked to gossip; someone with a prolific memory and a thousand stories of life, the universe and just about anything.”

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