The PM pays tribute to a Fleet Street 'legend' Lord William Rees-Mogg
BRISTOL-BORN Lord William Rees-Mogg, father of North-east Somerset conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, has died after a short illness. He was 84.
A former editor of The Times and chairman of the Broadcasting Standards Council he was born in the city on July 14, 1928. He came from Somerset stock and the county was always dear to him.
In fact, he took his title of Lord Rees-Mogg of Hinton Blewett from the Mendip village that had been the home of his ancestors.
In 1964 he bought and restored 18th century Ston Easton Park, near Wells. He sold the house 10 years later and moved to Bilboa House, Mells, living there until returning to London a couple of years ago.
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Parish council chairman Edmund Costelloe recalled: "He was very pleasant company with a dry sense of humour."
Lord Rees-Mogg challenged the legality of John Major's ratification of the Maastricht Treaty.
He also wrote an article calling for former PM Alec Douglas-Home to resign – which he did soon after.
Educated at Charterhouse, then Balliol College, Oxford, he joined The Financial Times in 1952, then in 1960, he joined The Sunday Times, becoming editor of The Times in 1967 until 1981. His son Jacob said his father had only discovered recently that he had inoperable oesophageal cancer, telling The Times: "I had the greatest father anyone could ever want, who always encouraged his children in the different things that they did."
Prime Minister David Cameron said of Lord Rees-Mogg, "He is rightly a Fleet Street legend – editing The Times through a tumultuous period with flair and integrity. I always found him full of wisdom and good advice – particularly when I first became leader of the Opposition."