One of the architects of the Northern Ireland peace process, Mo Mowlam, has died, aged 55.
Northern Ireland Secretary for two years from 1997, Mowlam was a popular and outspoken member of Britain’s parliament. After recovering from a brain tumour, she took the high-risk step of visiting paramilitaries in the notorious Maze prison in the run-up to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and persuaded them to back the peace process. British Prime Minister Tony Blair said she was one of the most remarkable and colourful personalities ever to come into politics and her down-to-earth style won her many friends. Yet in 1999, Blair replaced her with Peter Mandelson, shifting her to a lesser ministerial role. She left politics in 2001. It is thought she received a new course of radiotherapy recently, which affected her balance. Earlier this month she fell and banged her head, never regaining consciousness.