A political activist and philosopher committed suicide after being told he had terminal lung cancer, an inquest has heard.

Michael Lesser, of Woodstock Road, in Golders Green, left his wife and friends and suicide note after battling with depression and the news he had lung cancer.

At 16 he was sent to Wormwood Scrubs for his part in British anti-war group Committee of 100 for his actions.

An author and a mathematical philosopher, Mr Lesser founded The International Times Archive in 2009, a free archive of every page of International Times from its first issue in 1966 to its last in 1994.

Barnet Coroners Court, in Wood Lane, heard today how Mr Lesser, 71, suffered with depression for “many years”.

Coroner Andrew Walker read out to the court that Mr Lesser had a heart bypass in 1999.

He also had suicidal thoughts but would not kill himself because his sister Barbara was still alive.

He was diagnosed with lung cancer in June, the month before his death, and was offered chemotherapy however it was a terminal diagnosis.

Coroner Walker gave a verdict of death by asphyxiation and the cause of death as suicide.