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Reverend Paul Nicolson: Haringey social justice ‘fighter’ dies aged 87

PUBLISHED: 12:39 09 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:49 11 March 2020

Reverend Paul Nicolson last month protesting in solidarity with London's homeless. Picture: Taxpayers Against Poverty

Reverend Paul Nicolson last month protesting in solidarity with London's homeless. Picture: Taxpayers Against Poverty

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‘Fearless’ Haringey social justice campaigner Reverend Paul Nicolson has died aged 87.

Paul campaigning outside the Royal Courts of Justice in 2016. Picture: Polly HancockPaul campaigning outside the Royal Courts of Justice in 2016. Picture: Polly Hancock

The former Ham&High columnist - whose final piece in this newspaper called for greater compassion in politics - passed away on Thursday (March 5) having led a life fighting poverty and homelessness while campaigning on issues of housing and security.

Paul's children Krissie, Claire, Tom, Hugo and Rod paid tribute to their father: 'The deluge of thoughtful messages from his diverse community of colleagues and supporters has been a massive comfort.

''Bloody-minded', 'fearless' and 'a fighter' are some of the common words surfacing from those who knew him.

'We are deeply proud to call him our Dad.'

They added: 'Dad's rare and singular character brought about a spectacular amount of positive and meaningful change to a vast number of people.'

Last month, Paul protested outside Church House, Westminster, in solidarity with London's homeless.

He sat in the cold for hours and begged for money to compel the governing body of the Church of England to make better use of its own land in tackling homelessness.

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On the day he was taken ill, Paul planned to do the same outside 10 Downing Street to bring attention to Taxpayers Against Poverty's Elimination of Homelessness Bill.

'If you can save the banks through quantitative easing, you can save the homeless through quantitative easing,' Paul said at the bill's launch.

Haringey Council leader Joseph Ejiofor said: 'The Rev Paul Nicolson was a passionate campaigner for social justice not only here in Haringey, but across the capital and country at large.

'I greatly admired and respected the way he went about his business and his passing will be felt by many people in the borough and beyond.

'My thoughts are with his friends and family at this difficult time.'

A donation page with a target of £10,000 has been set up by Paul's family to honour his legacy and to fundraise for the two organisations he established - Taxpayers Against Poverty and Zacchaeus 2000 Trust.

A mass begging protest is also being planned for later this year to act as a living memorial in Paul's name.

His funeral will be held at St Paul's church in Tottenham, with further details to be announced by Paul's family who are inviting people to pay their respects together on the day.

In Paul's final column for the Ham&High, he called for greater compassion in politics and for government to better consider people's health and wellbeing.


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