Former cabinet minister Lord Prior dies, aged 89

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Conservative former cabinet minister Lord Prior has died, the official Parliament website has reported. He was 89.

Jim Prior served for five years in Margaret Thatcher's cabinet where he was regarded as one of the leading "wets" who opposed her monetarist economic policies.

Originally appointed employment secretary when she became prime minister in 1979, he was moved to the post of Northern Ireland secretary two years later.

The move was widely regarded as a sign of her frustration at his refusal to press ahead more quickly with her trade union reforms.