TRIBUTES have today poured in for a ‘selfless’ campaigner who fought tirelessly for others.
John Thompson, who served as a councillor on Hampshire county and Fareham borough councils during the 1990s, died on Boxing Day following a brief illness.
The 66-year-old led a campaign against Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock over claims he behaved inappropriately towards a vulnerable female constituent.
The woman subjected to Mr Hancock‘s advances, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told The News she is heartbroken at Mr Thompson’s death.
‘Missing him is a heartache that will never go away,’ she said.
‘John was my friend but also like a father to me and my son.
‘I will always have him in my heart.
‘He showed me great kindness and great strength, and I thank him for standing by my side when times were hard.
‘He always put other needs before his own and he will always have a place in my heart.
‘He was always there for me throughout and to the end of the Hancock ordeal.’
Mr Thompson, who lived in Park Gate, near Fareham, had called for a fresh police investigation to be launched into Mr Hancock’s conduct after the MP apologised for his actions this summer.
Police have said they will not be taking any further action against Mr Hancock.
Paul Hartley, of Southsea, who knew Mr Thompson for five years, said: ‘He was a moral man who was completely selfless, and he would always fight for the underdog.’
Mr Thompson, who joined Ukip as a member only last month, spoke up at council meetings in Portsmouth against budget cuts and the need for the city to better protect vulnerable adults in light of the Hancock scandal.
Ukip councillor Julie Swan said: ‘He was a larger-than-life character who devoted his life to doing things for others. What a loss.’
Cllr Donna Jones, Tory leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘John was an example of somebody who served for justice and never gave up fighting for what he believed in.’
Cllr John Ferrett, Labour group leader, said: ‘He was a campaigner and without the work he did, the Hancock wrongdoing probably wouldn’t have come to the fore like it did.’
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Lib Dem group leader, added: ‘He will be somebody people will notice isn’t around anymore because he had an impact.’
The cause of his death is currently unknown.
Campaigner had lengthy media career
JOHN Thompson was born in 1948 and educated at Portsmouth’s Southern Grammar School for Boys, where he studied radio and television engineering.
He went on to work in sound engineering and production and contributed towards radio programmes.
He ran a 20-piece big band during the 1970s which drew wide acclaim in the UK, winning second prize in a BBC Radio 2 big band competition.
By 1979, he was recruited as a producer and presenter for BBC Radio Solent and remained at the station for seven years.
In the 1990s, Mr Thompson became a councillor and chaired Fareham’s planning committee.
He held media lecturing posts at two Hampshire Colleges and provided media training for senior members of the British and Nato armed forces.
He later ran an online news television site called portsmouthnews.tv until 2013.