Lord Williams of Mostyn dies at 62

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Lord Williams of Mostyn, the Leader of the House of Lords, died yesterday at his home in Gloucestershire. He was 62.

The Cabinet minister, a QC and former chairman of the Bar Council, had been a member of Tony Blair's government since 1997. He moved from the Home Office to become Attorney General and finally, after the 2001 general election, Leader of the Lords.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister led tributes to the peer, who just last week was working to reshape the Lords. His death will leave a gap as Mr Blair seeks to implement such historic changes.

"I am profoundly shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Gareth Williams," Mr Blair said in a statement. "He was a fine politician ... who earned the respect of colleagues of all parties."

Peter Hain, Welsh Secretary and Leader of the House of Commons, said Lord Williams was "one of Wales's favourite sons" and "one of the most brilliant minds in the Cabinet".

There are no details about the cause of Lord Williams's apparently sudden death. Nor was Downing Street ready to contemplate the inevitable reshuffle. A spokesman said any such thoughts were "for another day".