Former BBC political editor John Cole ‘loved Portstewart’

Tributes: The late John Cole

Tributes: The late John Cole

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THE Prime Minister, David Cameron, has lead warm tributes to the former BBC political editor John Cole who died on Friday aged 85 - and who spent several decades holidaying in Portstewart.

A spokesman for David Cameron said the prime minister was “deeply saddened by the news and sends his condolences to Mr Cole’s family”, adding that he had “contributed so much to British political life”.

Cole was the BBC’s chief reporter during the Thatcher era, and became a popular face on TV and radio, covering major stories including the miners’ strike and the Brighton bombing.

“While many people will remember John for his journalism and broadcasting, for us he was the most loving, funny and devoted husband, father and grandfather,” his family said. “We will miss him terribly.”

Born in Belfast in 1927, he began his writing career at the local Belfast Telegraph at the age of just 17.

He went on to work at both the Guardian and the Observer, before succeeding John Simpson to the role of political editor at the BBC in 1981.

He described Portstewart as having “a splendid view from the Harbour Hill to the Convent and the hills of Donegal beyond.”