| 9.9°C Belfast

Peer who won respect of McGuinness played part in peace process



Lord Peter Temple-Morris

Lord Peter Temple-Morris

Lord Peter Temple-Morris

A man described by Martin McGuinness as "one of the most honourable British politicians I have ever met" has died at the age of 80.

Lord Peter Temple-Morris was actively involved in the peace process and an advocate of dialogue as a way forward. He passed away on Tuesday.

He was a founding co-chairman of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly.

Its Irish and UK co-chairs, Sean Crowe TD and Andrew Rosindell MP, paid tribute to him.

In a joint statement, they said: "It is with deep regret that we hear of the passing of Lord Peter Temple-Morris. Playing a vital role in the establishment of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly in 1990, he recognised that in the difficult times of the Troubles the way forward was dialogue.

"As first UK co-chair, he helped foster closer relations between our parliaments and enabled us to look at the issues facing our islands together.

"We aim to continue his work and to ensure that all parliaments and assemblies in the UK and Ireland work for closer understanding.

"Peter was a dedicated and much-respected politician, and our thoughts are with his family."

Lord Temple-Morris, a former Conservative MP, fell out with his party, disillusioned with its increasing Euroscepticism, and he sat for some months as an Independent One Nation Conservative.

Then, in 1998, he defected to Labour, prompting the endorsement from Mr McGuinness.

Born in Cardiff, the son of former MP Sir Owen Temple-Morris, he attended Cambridge, qualified as a barrister and later served as a solicitor.

As well as Europe, he also had an interest in Iranian affairs - his wife Tahere Khozeime-Alam, whom he married in 1964, was the daughter of a Tehran senator - and he served for many years on British-Iranian groups.

His death was announced by Lord Speaker Lord Fowler, whom he served as a ministerial aide in the 1990s. The former Conservative minister paid tribute to "his very good friend" and offered condolences to his family.

Belfast Telegraph