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Sunday, February 8, 1998 Published at 16:31 GMT


Powell's speeches - 'an unforgettable privilege'
image: [ Enoch Powell: described as
Enoch Powell: described as "one of those rare people who made a difference"

Baroness Thatcher has led the tributes to former Conservative MP Enoch Powell, who died peacefully in hospital.

The former Prime Minister said: "There will never be anybody else so compelling as Enoch Powell.

"He had a rare combination of qualities all founded on an unfaltering belief in God, an unshakable loyalty to family and friends and an unswerving devotion to our country.

"He was magnetic. Listening to his speeches was an unforgettable privilege. He was one of those rare people who made a difference."

Mr Powell's biographer and Daily Mail newspaper columnist Simon Heffer said: "As well as being one of the great Conservative statesmen of our century, Enoch Powell was without question a great man in every sphere.

"Everyone who knew him and many millions who did not will find his death causes them a sense of irreparable loss."

Deputy Ulster Unionist leader John Taylor said Mr Powell would always be remembered in Ulster as a great defender of the union.

He said: "We in Northern Ireland benefited much from his wisdom and guidance during the onslaught of Irish nationalism against the people of Ulster.

"When Enoch rose to speak, MPs rushed back into the Chamber - that is his greatest tribute."

Another former Conservative Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath refused to comment.

After the 1968 Rivers of Blood speech Sir Edward removed him from the shadow cabinet. Sir Edward also refused Mr Powell a job in his 1970-74 government.

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