Viscount Ridley - a great man, to whose funeral I am going to today. Came up late last night on the train to a wet and windy Northumberland. Sadly had to miss yesterdays by election in Hexham, where the Council seat was retained by the Conservative candidate, with Labour second, Independent third and Lib Dems fourth. Have surgeries this morning, and meeting care home representatives, then off to Newcastle Cathedral for the memorial service to Matthew Ridley: a great Northumbrian man who crossed all political divides. I am sure the Cathedral will be packed.