Wife of ex-minister Owen Paterson found dead in woods on family estate on his birthday
THE wife of Tory MP and ex-Cabinet minister Owen Paterson has been found dead in woodlands near their family home this morning – on his birthday.
In a statement, Mr Paterson said the loss of his wife, Rose, 63, had come as a “terrible shock” to the family, while police are treating the matter as “unexplained”.
Rose Paterson – wife of Owen Paterson MP – has been found dead[/caption]
The couple were married for 40 years[/caption]
“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 since 2013.
The couple married in 1980 and had two sons – Felix and Ned – and a daughter – Evie.
West Mercia Police said today: “We can confirm the body of a woman has been found in woodland near Pant Lane in Sodylt in Ellesmere.
“The death is currently being treated as unexplained however at this stage there is believed to be no third party involvement.”
Earlier this week Mrs Paterson was named in connection with another planning row connected to Robert Jenrick.
The Housing Secretary used his ministerial planning powers to recover an appeal by Britain’s largest horse-racing organisation, the Jockey Club, of which Mrs Paterson was a board member.
They appealed after Elmbridge borough turned down the development of homes and a hotel at the Sandown Park Racecourse in Esher, Surrey.
Councillors had unanimously voted against the application because of the impact it would have on the green belt, but Mr Jenrick was due to make a decision on it.
He is currently embroiled in a planning row over his decision to approve a £1 billion development proposed by Tory donor Richard Desmond.
Rose at the Grand National in 2015 – she was was the chairman of Aintree Racecourse[/caption]
The couple (left) with their daughter Evie (right)[/caption]
Owen Paterson (right) with his wife Rose – who was found dead at their family home[/caption]
Back in March Mrs Paterson vowed that the Grand National would come back “bigger and better than ever before” next year after it was forced to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
She wrote in a letter to would-be-guests at Aintree: “The Grand National has been with us for nearly 200 years; it has survived world wars, bomb scares and many other vicissitudes and it will be back again next year, bigger and better than ever before.”
She completed the 1,000km Mongol Derby in 2011, raising £120,000 for charity alongside her husband, Owen.
The Jockey Club team said today it was “greatly saddened” by her death today.
Paying tribute, Sandy Dudgeon, Senior Steward of The Jockey Club, said:
“This is tragic news and our thoughts go out to Rose’s husband Owen and all members of her family.
“Rose was a wonderful person and involved in so many aspects of our sport. She was a skilled Chairman at Aintree, a valued member of our Board of Stewards and headed up our Horse Welfare Group. She also enjoyed participating at grassroots level over many years.
“We appreciated her contribution very much and my fellow Stewards and I looked forward to hearing her sound views on a subject, where she was always sensitive to the best course of action for racing.
“She will be missed greatly for the person she was.”
She was also a Trustee of the Weston Park Foundation and a former Trustee of the National Museums of Merseyside Development Fund.
Her daughter Evie, as a Junior and Young Rider, has represented Great Britain three times in the European Eventing Championships.
The MP with wife Rose on the campaign trail in Wrexham[/caption]
Mr Paterson has been an MP since 1997, and served as Environment Secretary and Northern Ireland Secretary[/caption]
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