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Wife of former NI Secretary of State Owen Paterson found dead at family home

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Owen Paterson with his wife Rose Photo: PressEye

Owen Paterson with his wife Rose Photo: PressEye

Owen Paterson

Owen Paterson

Owen Paterson with his wife Rose Photo: PressEye

The wife of former Northern Ireland Secretary of State Owen Paterson has been found dead at their family home, the MP has said.

In a statement, the Conservative former cabinet minister said the loss of his wife, Rose, had come as a "terrible shock" to the family.

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Owen Paterson

Owen Paterson

Owen Paterson

"It is with great sadness that I must inform you that my wife, Rose, has been found dead at our family home in Shropshire," he said.

"Rose and I were married for 40 happy years. She was a wonderful, caring wife, mother and grandmother.

"Her death has come as a terrible shock to us all. I would ask the media to respect the privacy of myself and my family at this extremely difficult time."

Mrs Paterson, the daughter of the fourth Viscount Ridley, was the chairman of Aintree Racecourse. The couple married in 1980 and had two sons and a daughter.

Mr Paterson, MP for North Shropshire since 1997 was Northern Ireland Secretary of State between 2010 and 2012 before becoming Environment Secretary.

PA