MP's tribute to 'greatest' father after he loses fight against cancer
Tributes have been paid to former editor of The Times Lord William Rees-Mogg, who has died at the age of 84 in hospital after a short battle with cancer.
Lord Rees-Mogg, who had a home in Mells, was editor for 14 years until March 1981, taking in one of the most turbulent periods in the newspaper's history, when for 11 months it went unpublished in a dispute with unions over new technology.
His son, North East Somerset Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, said his father had discovered only recently that he had inoperable oesophageal cancer.
Mr Rees-Mogg said: "It has been a mercifully short illness. He died very peacefully and a member of his family was with him. He was very prepared for it."
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He added: "I had the greatest father anyone could ever want, who always encouraged his children in the different things that they did.
"He had the most extraordinary knowledge of almost every subject you could ever ask him about, and had this fascinating position in British public life for the last 60 years. He interviewed the leader of the opposition only six weeks ago, and had been a speechwriter for Anthony Eden.
"We are all enormously proud of him and all that he did; and that he found time to be the most active and loving father."
Lord Rees-Mogg worked for the Financial Times and Sunday Times before becoming editor of The Times in 1967, a post he held until 1981.
His writing saw him defending Richard Nixon, successfully calling for Alec Douglas-Home to resign as Prime Minister, and railing against the severity of prison sentences handed down to the Rolling Stones Mick Jagger and Keith Richards for drug offences.
In 1964 he bought and restored 18th-century Ston Easton Park before selling the house ten years later and moving to Mells.
The one-time BBC vice-chairman was made a life peer, with the title of Lord Rees-Mogg of Hinton Blewett, from the Mendip village that had been the home of his ancestors.
Prime Minister David Cameron said he was "rightly a Fleet Street legend" and added: "I always found him full of wisdom and good advice."
Lord Rees-Mogg, who was a devout Catholic and avid fan of Somerset cricket, is survived by his wife and five children, Thomas, Jacob, Charlotte, Emma and Annunziata.
Man in Westminster, page 11