Mick Laffey, a serious injuries lawyer at Thompsons Solicitors’ Newcastle office, led a question and answer session with Tony Benn at the screening of a trailer for a new documentary about the life of the UK’s longest-serving Labour politician.

Mick led two Q&A sessions with Mr Benn, 88, at the Miners’ Hall in Durham as part of the Brass Durham International Festival. The sold-out event was attended by over 300 people.

The film “Will And Testament” will be released in cinemas in 2014 and is a retrospective look at important milestones and events in Benn’s life and career, from renouncing his peerage to leading the Stop the War coalition. The film includes interviews with Benn as well as material from his own archive of diaries, images and film footage.

Mick and the audience were able to quiz Tony on current political issues including Detroit’s filing for bankruptcy and the Labour Party’s relationship with the trade unions.

It was a great privilege to take part in this screening

Mick Laffey said: “It was a great privilege to take part in this screening; Tony Benn has always been one of my political heroes.

“The trailer gave us all a taste for what, I am sure, is going to be a thought-provoking documentary that will give viewers an alternative perspective to the mainstream political agenda.”

Tony Benn was elected to Parliament in 1950 after winning the Bristol South East seat. He was part of a Labour government from 1964 to 1970, serving as Postmaster General and Minister of Technology. In the Labour Government of 1974–1979, he returned to the Cabinet, initially as Secretary of State for Industry before being made Secretary of State for Energy. His campaign to renounce his hereditary peerage was instrumental in the creation of the Peerage Act 1963, allowing the renunciation of such titles.

During the 1980s, which Labour spent in opposition, he was often regarded as the party’s most notable figure on the left. He was a strong supporter of the miners during the 1984-85 strike, and stood against Neil Kinnock for the Labour leadership in 1988.

He retired from politics in 2001.