UK Union Baron Bob Crow Dies At 52: Communist Union Chief said Thatcher should 'Rot In Hell'
The Rail and Maritime Trade (RMT) Union leader Bob Crow has died this morning.
Circumstances of his death with initially unclear, but the Evening Standard's Ross Lydall tweeted: "Bob Crow died at Whipps Cross hospital, Leytonstone. Medics spent an hour trying to save his life. Suffered aneurysm + massive heart attack".
Crow's death has been acknowledged by the union he led for 12 years, the RMT, which issued a statement 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".
When former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher passed away last year, Crow is said to have remarked, "I wont shed one single tear over her death... She destroyed the NHS and destroyed industry in this country and as far as I'm concerned she can rot in hell."
Conor Burns MP, was a friend of Thatcher, he said: "Lady T was always very gracious when her political opponents passed away, as was shown by her generous tribute to Michael Foot. She believed in the dignity of the human soul and respect for every individual.
"I hope no one today resorts to the abuse Bob Crow gave to Lady T in death but takes her higher view that everyone, even opponents, thoughts should be with the family."
Crow served as the head of the RMT since 2002, often coming to public blows with leading politicians and public figures. The union leader was responsible for recent crippling strikes on the London Underground. The RMT opposed tube improvements such as driverless trains and changes in the way London tube stations are managed. Crow said at the time: "The RMT will not allow Tube safety to be sacrificed on the altar of driverless operation and we are geared up and ready to go to war on this one."
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said, "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".
He was 52 years old at the time of his death. He was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain and then the Communist Party of Britain between 1983 and 1995 and left to join Arthur Scargill's Socialist Labour Party (SLP).
Crow was oft-criticised for his huge salary, and the fact that he lived in social housing despite being especially wealthy.