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Sunday, 14 October, 2001, 17:10 GMT 18:10 UK
Tributes pour in for Lord Hailsham
Lord Hailsham
Lord Hailsham died after a long illness
Leading politicians and members of the legal profession have paid tribute to Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone, who has died aged 94.

Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith described him as "a superb Conservative politician, lawyer and statesman whose place in the party and in national politics was unrivalled and whose counsels will be sorely missed".

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family this weekend," he added.

This was a man of huge experience and enormous opinion and a very exciting character to have around

Lord Heseltine
Prime Minister Tony Blair said: "He combined a brilliant intellect and acute political instinct with a profound patriotism and commitment to his country.

"He was a remarkable man. Cherie and I send our deepest sympathy to his family at this sad time."

Lord Healey, the former Labour Chancellor, said Lord Hailsham was "one of the liveliest of major figures in the Conservative Party".

"I respected him for his knowledge and concern about the political problems facing Britain in the 1960s and 1970s."

Lord Heseltine said his former cabinet colleague had been a "giant of a man" who had "dominated the political stage".

Thatcher's respect

He had been one of the few members of Margaret Thatcher's government she had been unwilling to take on, the Tory former deputy prime minister recalled.

"I just remember when I joined the cabinet in 1979 there were some giants there and Quintin was one," he told BBC News 24.

"People deferred to him. This was a man of huge experience and enormous opinion and a very exciting character to have around; a rather unpredictable character but that often goes with the quality of the man.

"Lady Thatcher was wary of him. He was one of the people she was not prepared to take on or counter.

"She held him in great respect and she always sought his opinion in cabinet before taking decisions in which he might have an interest."

Former Labour cabinet minister Baroness Castle said: "I crossed swords with him politically many times, but I never had any bitterness towards him.

"He enjoyed a good argument and a public tussle. I used to find him someone with whom I enjoyed having public battles, because there was no bitterness or malice."

'Outstanding' advocate

Lord Hailsham is remembered not only as a great politician, but an accomplished lawyer.

Matthias Kelly QC, chairman of the Bar Council's public affairs group, said: "This is a great loss. Lord Hailsham was an outstanding advocate of his generation.

Lord Healey
Lord Healey: praise for Hailsham
"Although we may have had our differences, he was one who appreciated the fundamental importance of a strong, vigorous and independent bar."

Lord Gilmour of Craigmillar, who was Lord Privy Seal in Margaret Thatcher's first administration, said Lord Hailsham had been "extraordinarily knowledgeable on all subjects".

"I was his pupil at the bar. He not only gave me a legal education, he gave me another university education," he said.

"He took a great deal of trouble with his pupils, to whom he was very kind although occasionally he was irritated by them.

"He was the cleverest man in Parliament in my time there."

See also:

14 Oct 01 | UK Politics
Tory grandee Lord Hailsham dies
14 Oct 01 | UK Politics
Lord Hailsham: The passionate peer
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