Former MP dies at 91

August 22, 2008

Former MP and gay-rights champion Leo Abse has died at the age of 91.

The former Labour MP for Pontypool, and later Torfaen, died at Charing Cross Hospital in West London on Tuesday night after a short illness.

In 1967, Mr Abse guided a Private Member's Bill through Parliament making sex between men legal.

Cardiff-born Mr Abse, elder brother of writer Dannie Abse, was also credited with helping liberalise divorce laws with the 1969 Divorce Reform Act.

Mr Abse, who was in the Commons for nearly 30 years, was a founding partner and a former senior partner of the Welsh law firm, Leo Abse and Cohen. The firm's website states: "The partners and everyone at Leo Abse and Cohen are deeply saddened by the news that Mr Leo Abse has passed away."

Mr Abse, who lived in Chiswick, West London, was arrested for political activities in Cairo while serving with the RAF in the Middle East in 1944.

    Last updated: 1:27pm, August 26 2008