Lord McAlpine, libel victim and confidant of Lady Thatcher, has died aged 71
71-year-old died 'peacefully' in Italy
Sunday 19 January 2014
David Cameron led the tributes to Lord McAlpine, who died at his home in Italy late on Friday. The Prime Minister praised the former Conservative Party treasurer as a “dedicated supporter of Margaret Thatcher” during the 1980s.
The 71-year-old returned to prominence recently when he secured damages from Sally Bercow, the wife of the Speaker of the House of Commons, for libel after she suggested he was a paedophile. Famously close to Thatcher (he described their political relationship as “love at first sight”), Lord McAlpine was later critical of John Major and William Hague as Tory leaders, even joining the Eurosceptic Referendum Party.
However, leading Conservatives of the late 1970s and 1980s remained grateful to Lord McAlpine, whose grandfather founded the Sir Robert McAlpine construction empire, for his outstanding fundraising.
The former Tory party chairman and cabinet minister Lord Parkinson said: “Alistair McAlpine was an outstanding treasurer of the modern Conservative Party – if not the outstanding treasurer. He was a most unusual, intriguing, interesting character.”
Another former chairman and a key figure from the Thatcher years, Lord Tebbit, said: “He was a confidant, which is very important to a prime minister: to have somebody of irreproachable integrity and great discretion that they can talk [to] about anything and know that it would not go any further.”
Lord Tebbit was one of the staunchest supporters of Lord McAlpine’s following the BBC Newsnight report in November 2012 that accused an unnamed “senior Conservative” of being involved in the North Wales child abuse scandal.
His name was then broadcast across social media, with Sally Bercow infamously tweeting: “Why is Lord McAlpine trending? *innocent face*.”
Lord McAlpine successfully sought damages – which he then donated to charity – from the BBC and ITV, as well as from “high-profile tweeters” who had libelled him, including the comedian Alan Davies and the writer George Monbiot.
After the announcement by Lord McAlpine’s family that he had died “peacefully” at his home in Puglia, southern Italy, Mr Cameron tweeted: “My thoughts are with Lord McAlpine’s family – he was a dedicated supporter of Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative Party.”
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
- 4 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
California teacher appears to have hanged herself in her classroom
The City of the Monkey God: Archaeologists claim to have found city lost for 1,000 years in remote Honduran jungle
Ed Miliband deemed less influential than One Direction's Louis Tomlinson by official Doncaster power list
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
£16000 - £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£9 - £13 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a s...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...