Tribute to Jonny Morris

It is with enormous sadness that Plymouth Labour shares the news that Jonny Morris, who retired as a Plymouth Labour councillor in 2022, has died.

Jonny was a councillor for Southway Ward where he served for a total of nine years.

Born in 1967, Jonny’s political career began in Reading in 1995 where he was Lead Member for Environment.

Moving to Plymouth in 2003, he was first elected to the council in a by-election in 2013 and went on to be re-elected in 2014 and 2018.

Jonny with this beloved cat, Max

Cllr Tudor Evans OBE, leader of Plymouth City Council, said Plymouth Labour owed Jonny a “great deal”.

“There’s much to be grateful to him for,” said Cllr Evans.

 “A busy ward councillor, a parliamentary assistant and an organiser and co-ordinator of real talent.

“We were able to create a scrutiny committee in the council, looking at the impact of Brexit, which made the very best use of his brain power and wit.

“Jonny made friends easily but could be deft in combat with his opponents. 

“He worked hard, steering us during some tough times from his desk in the Labour HQ, like a captain on the bridge. 

“We feel his loss most keenly when thinking of his struggles in the past few years.

”It robbed us of him, and robbed him of the chance to fulfil his potential.

“Such talent. Such intelligence. Such fun. My thoughts are with his family and his many friends.”

Jonny studied at Oxford and Reading and his jobs included working as a bookseller at Blackwell’s in Oxford and being part of Alison Seabeck’s team when she was Plymouth Moor View’s Labour MP. 

He was known for his love of his cats, crosswords, football, cricket and Inspector Morse.

Whilst working in the bookshop he got to know Morse’s creator Colin Dexter, who was a regular customer, who introduced him to John Thaw.

He had also been a climber, a hockey player and, for someone as keen as he was on literature and philosophy, he was proud to have met Bertrand Russell when he was a child

Luke Pollard described Jonny as “a man of such contradictions”. 

“Thoughtful and intellectual he was as comfortable being jovial and playful as he was debating politics,” said Luke.

“I will remember Jonny’s friendship and support and his efforts during some of Labour’s hardest times to keep the party going. 

“He was a man with such potential. Rather than being sad because of his loss, I’m trying to be grateful that he lived.”