The Lord Williams of Mostyn
Lord Williams of Mostyn.jpg
Leader of the House of Lords
In office
8 June 2001 – 20 September 2003
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byThe Baroness Jay of Paddington
Succeeded byThe Baroness Amos
Lord President of the Council
In office
13 June 2003 – 20 September 2003
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byJohn Reid
Succeeded byThe Baroness Amos
Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal
In office
8 June 2001 – 13 June 2003
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byThe Baroness Jay of Paddington
Succeeded byPeter Hain
Attorney General for England and Wales
Attorney General for Northern Ireland
In office
29 July 1999 – 8 June 2001
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byJohn Morris
Succeeded byThe Lord Goldsmith
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
In office
October 1998 – June 2001
Prime MinisterTony Blair
LeaderThe Baroness Jay of Paddington
Preceded byThe Baroness Jay of Paddington
Succeeded byThe Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean
Minister of State for Prisons
In office
28 July 1998 – 28 July 1999
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byJoyce Quin
Succeeded byCharles Clarke
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Home Affairs
In office
2 May 1997 – 28 July 1998
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byTom Sackville
Succeeded byKate Hoey
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
20 July 1992 – 20 September 2003
Life peerage
Personal details
Born(1941-02-05)5 February 1941
Prestatyn, Wales
Died20 September 2003(2003-09-20) (aged 62)
Evenlode, England
Resting place
  • St Michael and all Angels Church
  • Great Tew, England
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)
  • Pauline Clarke
    (m. 1962, divorced)
  • Veena Russell
    (m. 1994)
Children4
Alma materQueens' College, Cambridge

Gareth Wyn Williams, Baron Williams of Mostyn, PC, QC (5 February 1941 – 20 September 2003), was a Welsh barrister and Labour politician who was Leader of the House of Lords, Lord President of the Council and a member of the Cabinet from 2001 until his sudden death in 2003.

Early life

Williams was born near Prestatyn, in North Wales, a son of Albert Thomas Williams and his wife Selina, née Evans.[1] He was educated at Rhyl Grammar School and at Queens' College, Cambridge.[1]

Legal career

He had an outstanding legal career. Called to the bar at Gray's Inn in 1965,[1] he took silk in 1978,[1] was a Recorder from 1978,[2] a Deputy High Court Judge, 1986-92, the Leader of the Wales and Chester Circuit, 1987–89,[1] and a Member of the Bar Council, 1986-92[1] (Chairman, 1992).[1]

Political career

He was created a life peer on 20 July 1992 as Baron Williams of Mostyn, of Great Tew in the County of Oxfordshire,[3] and became an opposition spokesman in the House of Lords on Legal Affairs, and later Northern Ireland. After Labour's election victory he was appointed a Home Office minister, and in 1999 became Attorney General for England and Wales and Northern Ireland. He was appointed Leader of the House of Lords in 2001, initially with the sinecure office of Lord Privy Seal, for which Lord President of the Council was substituted in 2003.

Reputation among his colleagues

As part of the celebrations to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Life Peerages Act, Lord Williams was voted by the current members of the House of Lords as the outstanding life peer since the creation of the life peerage.[4] In his book A View from the Foothills Chris Mullin wrote that he thought that Gareth Williams was most likely to succeed Derry Irvine as Lord Chancellor; the position was next filled by Charles Falconer.[5]

Personal life

Williams married Pauline Clarke in 1962, and they had three children. They divorced, and he then married Veena M. Russell in 1994, and by her had one daughter, Imogen.[1] He died from a heart attack at his home in Evenlode, Gloucestershire on 20 September 2003, aged 62, and was buried at St Michael and all Angels Church in Great Tew, Oxfordshire.[6]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Archer of Sandwell (21 September 2003). "Obituary: Lord Williams of Mostyn". The Independent. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  2. ^ "No. 47569". The London Gazette. 16 June 1978. p. 7315.
  3. ^ "No. 53009". The London Gazette. 4 August 1992. p. 13149.
  4. ^ "Former Lords leader honoured with award". Yahoo/Epolitix. Retrieved 20 July 2008.[dead link]
  5. ^ Mullin, Chris (2009). "Monday 7 January 2002". A View from the Foothills: The Diaries of Chris Mullin. Profile Books. p. 248. ISBN 978-1-84668-230-8.
  6. ^ Robbins, Keith (28 June 2017). "WILLIAMS, GARETH WYN, Baron Williams of Mostyn (1941-2003), lawyer and politician". Dictionary of Welsh Biography. National Library of Wales. Retrieved 16 August 2022.

Bibliography

Political offices Preceded byThe Baroness Jay of Paddington Deputy Leader of the House of Lords 1998–2001 Succeeded byThe Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean Preceded byJohn Morris Attorney General for England and Wales 1999–2001 Succeeded byThe Lord Goldsmith Attorney General for Northern Ireland 1999–2001 Preceded byThe Baroness Jay of Paddington Lord Privy Seal 2001–2003 Succeeded byPeter Hain Leader of the House of Lords 2001–2003 Succeeded byThe Baroness Amos Preceded byJohn Reid Lord President of the Council 2003 Party political offices Preceded byThe Baroness Jay of Paddington Leader of the Labour Party in the House of Lords 2001–2003 Succeeded byThe Baroness Amos Academic offices Preceded byCledwyn Hughes Pro-Chancellor of the University of Wales 1994–2003 Succeeded byDafydd Wigley