‘Stroppy, but I’d trust him with my life’: Tributes to Cllr Tony Perry from Barking and Dagenham councillors

Cllr Tony Perry

Cllr Tony Perry - Credit: Archant

“He was stroppy, aggressive, opinionated and nasty.”

Thus began Cllr John White after volunteering to lead a tribute to late Labour councillor Tony Perry.

To the shock of many gathered at the annual assembly meeting in Barking’s Town Hall last night, Cllr White continued: “He was one of the most stubborn, obstinate people you could ever meet and was definitely no angel by any stretch of the imagination.”

The assembly – whose members at this point were uncomfortably shuffling in their seats – was relieved to hear Cllr White clarify: “But I would trust that man with my life”.

Cllr Perry died on April 12 after a long illness.

He served as a Labour councillor in Whalebone ward from 2010 until his death and worked on the licensing and regulatory board, children’s services select committee and the living and working select committee.

Cllr White was a close friend of Cllr Perry’s and, living as neighbours, the pair had known each other for more than six years.

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He described Cllr Perry as someone who worked “passionately” for old people and children.

“He was spiky on the outside but soft on the inside, like a cactus,” said Cllr White. “He was trustworthy and good-hearted and a loss we will certainly all feel.”

The chairman of the meeting, Cllr Tony Ramsay, shared a fond memory about Cllr Perry, describing a time he had forced members of the Labour party to go on a sponsored walk for charity.

He said: “On the walk we noticed there was litter absolutely everywhere and then realised we’d only just missed walking straight into the London marathon by 20 minutes.

“There were no barriers in those days.”

He added: “He was so good hearted, when he knew a group was in trouble he would want to help them.”

Assembly members nodded in agreement at the kind words and marked their respect by standing for a minute’s silence.

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Barking and Dagenham mourns death of councillor Tony Perry