Tulse Hill councillor Ruth Ling dies of heart attack

Cllr Ruth Ling has died
Cllr Ruth Ling has died

Ruth Ling, the Labour councillor for Tulse Hill, has died of a reported heart attack.

Her death was first announced on Twitter by the former council leader, and current Croydon North MP Steve Reed.

Steve Reed pays tribute to “one-off and wonderful” colleague.

Reed wrote this morning: “Devastated to hear of the sudden death of my friend of 20 years Cllr Ruth Ling. Rest in peace dear Ruth.”

Ruth Ling was councillor for Tulse Hill ward.

Labour MP for Streatham Hill, Chuka Umunna said: “Deeply saddened and shocked to hear the news of the death of my good friend Cllr Ruth Ling.”

Other colleagues and friends have taken to Twitter this morning to pay tribute to a “great fighter”.  Steve Reed  said he will take part in the London to Brighton bike ride tomorrow to raise money for the British Heart Foundation in her memory.

Brixton Hill councillor Martin Tiedemann said: “Can’t explain how sad I am about Ruth Ling. Will miss our plans for concerts at the RFH & the next meeting of the Anglo-Burmese Society.”

While Cllr Alex Bigham said he was “shocked” to hear that cllr Ling was dead, adding: “A real fighter. RIP Ruth.”

Cabinet member Cllr Paul McGlone wrote: “It is with great sadness that we learn this morning of the death of our friend and fellow councillor Ruth Ling.”

Update to follow shortly.

Did you know Ruth? Share your memories below or email us on newsdesk@brixtonblog.com.

 Steve Reed pays tribute to “one-off and wonderful” colleague.



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  2. Ruth had been friends with my mum (also Ruth) and dad (Dennis) since they were at college in Newcastle, before I was born. She became like a member of our family and frequently stayed with us over the Christmas holidays. Her last visit was Christmas 2012 when she met my daughter Lily (now 1 years old). She would also visit in the summer. My parents home in Fife was a good base to visit friends in Edinburgh and explore the city’s famous festival in August.

    Ruth spoke enthusiastically of her work as a councillor and I enjoyed listening to her tell me about the issues people faced on her ward. She seemed a committed politician with a passion for the area she served. As I understand it generations of her family where from London and it is no wonder her involvement in local politics reinforced her sense of purpose and belonging. She had metioned in passing that she wished to leave the world a little better than she found it. In my opinion her accomplishment of this ambition is testament to her giving nature and the sense of connection she had with her work and the place she lived in.

    I felt at ease around Ruth, partly because I had known her all my life, partly because she took an interest. She had time to listen to what I was saying, even when I was an even less interesting teenager. She would often link my experiences with those of someone she knew. To my amusement it was usually quite obscure, someone from Burma who built canoes out of newspaper or the like (I jest). I will miss the extra dimension she brought to my life. She made my world slightly better too.

  3. Ruth was unusual among councillors in actually showing an interest in our road and its issues.

    We will miss her.

  4. Very sad and shocking: Ruth Ling was a councillor in Clapham Common before moving to Tulse Hill and she was tenacious, argumentative but enthusiastic and humorous with it. There was a spark about her.

    A loss indeed.

  5. It is very sad news.

    I will remember her fondly. She was a huge help in sorting out parking issues on our road and the surrounding streets. She was always eager to help and would answer phone calls and emails at any time of the day or night, with good humour.

    She was a good woman who will be missed by our community.

  6. I’ve known Ruth for over 20 years. It was easy to think that Ruth – so dedicated to Lambeth and her council responsibilities – lived only for her council work. She had a wide range of interests and was knowledgeable about so many things. A good listener, good company. A shock and a great loss to all who know her.

  7. We are all very sad to hear this morning that Ruth Ling has died suddenly in the early hours of this morning at Kings Hospital. Ruth was a friend to us all and always great fun and sociable with wit and wisdom combined. Her funny stories about her family and their time in Burma were always complex and full of laughs! Rest in peace Councillor Ruth.

  8. As a member of Tulse Hill Labour Party, I knew Ruth as one of our Councillors. She was extremely hard working for her constituents in Tulse Hill and across Lambeth. It is sad that her tenure representing Tulse Hill has been cut short as she was first elected here in a by-election in 2010 although her politics in Lambeth go back a lot further before she represented Tulse Hill. Her untimely death leaves behind a void in Labour politics both here in Tulse Hill, within Lambeth Council and Lambeth Labour Party.

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