Shadwell-born RMT leader Bob Crow dies aged 52

Union leader Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT union.

Union leader Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT union. - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Mayor of London and union bosses are among those paying tribute to Bob Crow, who died this morning.

Tributes have flooded in after the general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) passed away this morning.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who clashed with Bob Crow over the recent London Underground strikes, expressed his shock at the news.

He 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.”

A spokesman for the RMT said: “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.

“RMT would request that all media respect the privacy of the friends and family of Bob Crow at this distressing time.”

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He was born in Shadwell before moving to Hainault with his parents George and Lillian and elder brother Richard.

After leaving school at 16 he started work on the railways.

He rose through the ranks of union politics, becoming a local representative of the National Union of Railwaymen in 1983 and national officer for track workers two years later.

Since becoming leader of the RMT in 2002, it became one of the nation’s fastest growing trade unions.

Reacting to the news, Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union general secretary, said:

“Bob’s passing is very sad news and the thoughts of firefighters will be with his family.

“Bob was a good friend to me personally and to the Fire Brigades Union as a whole.

“He was a strong leader for the labour movement and he’ll be sorely missed by those who knew him.”

Manuel Cortes, leader of the Transport Salaried Staff’s Association (TSSA) who joined the RMT in last month’s strikes, took to Twitter to express his condolences.

He wrote: “Devastated to hear of Bob Crow’s untimely death. My thoughts are with his family, friends and the members of our sister union. RIP comrade!”

A spokesman for London Ambulance Service confirmed it was called at 6.38am this morning to ‘reports of a person taken unwell’ at Bob Crow’s road in Woodford Green, north east London.

He said: “We sent two emergency responders and two ambulances crews. Staff treated a man before taking him to hospital as a priority.”