Wales politics

'Popular and colourful' Lord Harlech dies aged 61

Lord Harlech in 2001 Image copyright PA

Tributes have been paid to Lord Harlech who has died at his home in Gwynedd.

Francis Ormsby-Gore, 61, sat as a Conservative member of the House of Lords from 1985 until 1999.

A Tory spokesman said he was a "popular and colourful figure" who would be "much missed by his many friends".

Son of a former British ambassador to Washington, Lord Harlech had an occasionally troubled life, being fined for drug possession in 1999 and banned for drink-driving in 2001.

He inherited the title in 1985 following the death of his father, the 5th Baron Harlech, a former Conservative MP and the founding chairman of Harlech Television, later HTV.

Gwynedd councillor Caerwyn Roberts said Lord Harlech would be "very fondly" remembered.

"He was highly intelligent, and you always felt you'd learnt something after spending time with him," he told BBC Wales.

"He was charismatic, and would dress very differently, wearing his black hat and a cravat.

Image copyright Getty/Hulton
Image caption Lord Harlech as a boy, pictured in London with his parents and sisters in 1961

"Very, very friendly, although I last saw him about two years ago - maybe we hadn't drawn him into the community.

"He'd had his troubles, but the feeling locally was one of sympathy rather than condemnation.

"The fact that he had been left with a lot of death duties would not have helped.

"He will be remembered very fondly - he will remain in the memory for some time."

North Wales Police said they were called to an address at Talsarnau, near Harlech, at 11:40 GMT on Monday following reports of the sudden death of a man in his 60s.

A force spokesman said officers attended, found the matter was not suspicious, and reported it to the coroner.

A post mortem examination revealed the death was from natural causes and no action would be taken, the north west Wales coroner's office said.

Related Topics

More on this story