Leslie Spoor, teacher and political activist, 12th October 1910 – 13th March 2011

I am sad to report that Leslie Spoor, the principal founder of the Scottish Green Party, died last Sunday aged 100.

A political activist all his life, Leslie was involved in the 1936 Battle of Cable Street, when 300,000 antifascists stood against the British Union of Fascists’ planned march through the Jewish East End.

Leslie was a long-time member of the Labour Party and close friend of the late Livingston MP and Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, but in 1978 founded the Scottish Ecology Party, which would become the Scottish Green Party. He remained active into his hundredth year, campaigning for Robin Harper in last year’s General Election.

During that campaign, he said, “In a long and active life I have seen political fashions come and go, and when you have such a wide perspective, you realise that what matters is long-term vision. I continue to back the Greens because they alone have a sense of urgency about the future of the planet.”

A teacher by profession, Leslie taught history at Musselburgh Grammar School and lectured with the Open University.

The funeral is next Monday, the 21st of March, at 12 noon, at Edinburgh’s Mortonhall Crematorium. Leslie’s widow, Pat, has kindly welcomed Green Party members to attend, whether or not they knew Leslie personally, as Green politics was such an important part of his life.