Harry Leslie Smith

Harry Leslie Smith, a World War Two veteran who grew up in poverty and described himself as the “world’s oldest rebel” has died at the age of 95.

The son of RAF veteran and author tweeted to say his father had died while visiting him in Canada.

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The Barnsley-born campaigner and left-wing activist suffered suspected pneumonia while with his son John in Ontario.

John said: “At 3.39 this morning, my dad Harry Leslie Smith died. I am an orphan.”

Smith divided his time between Yorkshire and Canada and spent time meeting with refugees from around the world and advocating on their behalf.

He rose to prominence after giving an impassioned speech about his life and the NHS at the Labour Party conference in 2014.

After a speech which moved some delegates to tears, he was greeted with a standing ovation and widely praised on social media after warning the UK must “be vigilant” about the NHS.