Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Harry Leslie Smith: Thousands send support to ill veteran

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Media captionHarry Smith moved Labour delegates to their feet with his impassioned speech about the NHS in 2014

Thousands of well-wishers have sent their support to RAF veteran and author Harry Leslie Smith who is critically ill in hospital.

The 95-year-old campaigner and left-wing activist has suspected pneumonia after a fall while visiting his son John in Ontario, Canada.

John tweeted his Barnsley-born father is "still critical but not acutely".

Jeremy Corbyn joined the thousands sending messages, with #IStandWithHarry trending on Twitter on Wednesday.

John has been posting regular updates on Twitter from his father's account, with the latest indicating that his blood pressure was not great but "still hovering over the ok mark".

Image copyright Harry Leslie Smith/Twitter
Image copyright Jeremy Corbyn/Twitter

The war veteran 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 that the UK must "be vigilant" about the NHS.

The son of a miner, Mr Smith joined the RAF at 22, serving as a pilot in World War Two and lived through the Great Depression.

Since his retirement, he has become a prominent campaigner against austerity measures and has own podcast and Twitter account with more than 230,000 followers.

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