FEW politicians, other than those who were Prime Minister, have had a bigger impact on modern Britain than Roy Jenkins.

It is a mark of his contribution to his country that news of his death yesterday was met with genuine words of affection from all shades of political opinion.

Even among the Labour old guard there was respect for a former deputy leader who famously left their ranks.

His contribution to his country extends much further than his role in the creation of the SDP.

As Home Secretary in the 1960s he was the champion of reform and modernisation.

And later as Chancellor of the Exchequer he masterminded an economic recovery which came within a whisker of returning Labour to power in the 1970 General Election.

He was a dedicated pro-European at a time when it was not popular to be so in the centre-left of British politics. And he was prepared to put his deeply-held belief above any ambition he might have to lead his party or his country.

He will be remembered as a man of conviction, a politician who refused to be restricted and silenced by party dogma.

Not cricket

THE England cricket team should not go to Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe should not be granted the opportunity to use the World Cup to prop up his abhorrent regime.

However, it is wrong for the cricket authorities and the players themselves to be left with the decision on whether or not the matches go ahead.

There are only four weeks to go before the start of the tournament. The decision not to travel should have been made months ago, and made by the British Government.

Cabinet minister Peter Hain yesterday joined calls for England to pull out of the Zimbabwe leg of the World Cup.

Yet when he was Foreign Minister he appeared content to retain diplomatic ties with the Mugabe regime.

Surely, if Cabinet ministers feel strongly that we should not be playing cricket in Zimbabwe, then they should be advocating severing all links with the country as long as Mr Mugabe continues the repression.