The wife of Conservative former cabinet minister Owen Paterson has been found dead at their family home, the MP has said.
In a statement, Mr Paterson said the loss of his wife, Rose, had come as a “terrible shock” to the family.
“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. © PA Owen Paterson with his wife Rose who completed a 1,000 km horse ride across Mongolia for charity
“I would ask the media to respect the privacy of myself and my family at this extremely difficult time.”
Mrs Paterson, 63, was the daughter of the fourth Viscount Ridley, and the chairman of Aintree Racecourse.
The couple married in 1980 and had sons Felix and Ned, as well as daughter Evie.
Earlier this month Mr Paterson had to self-isolate for a second time, the Border Counties Advertiser reports.
© Photopress Owen Patterson The 64-year-old previously had to self-isolate in March after showing symptoms of coronavirus himself.
In early June he confirmed on Twitter some of his family members were now showing Covid-19 symptoms.
Mr Paterson said that he would be delaying his scheduled return to the House of Commons until his relatives had tested negative for the virus.
He tweeted: “I can’t vote, it’s really frustrating – there is voting going on right now.
“I had meetings planned, but of course the rules are the rules.
“It’s for the health of others – the danger is if you pass it on to someone who is old or got an underlying condition.
“All of us can pass it on, so we’ve got to be careful.”
His post on Twitter on Tuesday read: “I had planned to be back in the House of Commons today, so it is very frustrating that – with family members showing potential Covid-19 symptoms – I will have to self-isolate at least until their test results are negative.”
Sandy Dudgeon, senior steward of The Jockey Club, paying tribute 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.”