Page last updated at 15:13 GMT, Saturday, 4 October 2008 16:13 UK

Former minister Lord Thomson dies

Lord Thomson was a minister in Harold Wilson's government
Lord Thomson was a minister in Harold Wilson's government

Lord George Thomson, a minister in Harold Wilson's Labour government and the chairman of the broadcasting regulator in the 1980s, has died.

Baron Thomson of Monifieth, 87, died on Friday at London's St Thomas' Hospital, after suffering a viral infection.

He became Labour MP for Dundee East in 1952 and held the seat until his resignation in 1972.

He was chairman of the Independent Broadcasting Authority from 1981 to 1988 before joining the Lib Dems.

He joined the party in 1989 and spoke in the House of Lords on foreign affairs and broadcasting.

Among the ministerial positions he held in Wilson's government were Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs.

'Important cause'

Lord Thomson also served as a British Commissioner of the European Community for four years from 1973.

Born in Stirling, his family moved to Monifieth, outside Dundee, when he was two.

His widow, Lady Grace Thomson, said: "He loved his time in Dundee.

"It was his own town and he loved the people.

"He only left to go to Europe which was a very important cause to him."

Lord Thomson leaves two daughters, Caroline and Ailsa.

Responding to Lord Thomson's death, Liberal Democrat party leader Nick Clegg, said: "George Thomson was a man of great stature and integrity, who dedicated his life to public service.

"My thoughts, and those of all my parliamentary colleagues, are with his family at this time."

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