Tenacious class fighter and NHS campaigner

Socialist Party members from Tyneside were saddened to hear that our comrade, John Morrow, has passed away.

Only days before, John had been posting on social media about his time in hospital. Some of his posts were funny, such as being served chicken curry with mashed potatoes, or the “farting mission” of one of the other patients on his ward. Other posts highlighted the pain he was in, and stress from lack of painkillers.

John, in his typical forthright manner, used social media to highlight the “shitshow” of the NHS, but also posted about “staff doing their best under extreme working conditions”.

A while back, comrades were impressed when John posted a photo of himself in hospital on a dialysis machine, proudly wearing his brand-new Militant T-shirt (see above right).

For years, John tenaciously fought for better services for his severely disabled daughter Aimee. This included playing a leading role to save Grove House, where his daughter received respite care.

John, alongside his wife Jacqui and other Socialist Party members, helped set up the Save Grove House Campaign. He understood the need to fight Labour-controlled Gateshead council’s shameful plan to either close or privatise this vital service.

In order to highlight the terrible role played by Labour councillors, John stood as a Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate in Gateshead’s Pelaw and Heworth ward, receiving 5.5% of the vote. Other ‘lefts’ criticised John for standing, accusing him of splitting the vote and, in their view, letting the Lib Dem candidate win the seat. Admirably John faced down these critics, stating that Labour councillors who weren’t prepared to fight for working-class people weren’t worth voting for.

John was a class fighter and will be missed.

Our thoughts are with his wife Jacqui, and daughters Paige and Aimee.

Elaine Brunskill and Norman Hall