In Memoriam - British Member of Parliament Tony Banks

British Member of Parliament Tony Banks died on January 8th at the age of 62. The former Labour Party Minister for Sports and Member of Parliament for West Ham was a fierce opponent of the British foxhunt and the annual Canadian slaughter of seals.   

"I remember meeting with Tony at a demonstration for animals in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 1997," said Captain Paul Watson. "He spoke to me about how much he abhorred the Canadian seal hunt and he told me that he very much supported the efforts of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to oppose the slaughter."

Tony's widow Sally has launched a campaign in his memory to stop the killing of baby seals on the East coast of Canada.

"He was passionate about animal welfare, and passionate about this issue, to bring it back to UK public notice because the UK public in the 1970s were very instrumental in lobbying," she told BBC News.

The vegetarian MP continued to pursue his passion for animal welfare from the backbenches, contributing to the Hunting Bill debate.

His widow said the couple had been working on plans to put pressure on the Canadians to ban the culling of baby seals before his death.