Mellor's wife pleads for truce in public row

JUDITH MELLOR yesterday pleaded for 'the noise to stop' over her husband's alleged affair with Antonia de Sancha, as a highly public family row raged on newspaper front pages.

Four days after David Mellor's alleged infidelity was revealed in a Sunday newspaper, his wife broke her silence with an appeal to be allowed to resolve their problems in private. She has also asked her father, Professor Edward Hall, 75, to stop giving interviews to the press. This follows a fierce attack on Mr Mellor, widely reported yesterday. Professor Hall, a retired scientist, accused his son-in-law of breaking his marriage vows. He is reported to have said: 'When people get married they make marriage vows and I expect them to keep them. It seems to me that if anyone breaks the most sacred vows he ever makes in his life, he might break a few other sacred vows, such as (to) the Privy Council.'

Tabloid newspapers yesterday made the most of the family schism. The Sun interpreted Professor Hall's attack in a front- page headline as 'If he'll cheat on my daughter, he'll cheat on our country.'

Mr Mellor's mother-in-law, Joan Hall, was reported to have said: 'It seems he is spending this week trying to save his job. I think he should be at home trying to save his marriage.'

Mr Mellor, the Secretary of State for National Heritage, was said to be so furious at the attack that he telephoned his father-in- law at 7.30am yesterday. He allegedly told them they would never see their daughter or their grandchildren again, according to reports in some newspapers.

Professor Hall was quoted by London's Evening Standard yesterday as saying: 'I have been given a bit of a going over for talking to the press and I would rather not say anything more.'

Mrs Mellor said last night: 'I have asked my father to stop giving interviews to the press and he has agreed. . . . David and I would like the noise to stop so that we can deal with our problems in private.'