THE measured columns by Chris Moncrieff in The Yorkshire Post in recent times, and welcomed by readers for their authority, came towards the end of a remarkable career which began on the Harrogate Advertiser.
Yet it was his distinguished reporting as the Press Association’s political editor that saw him become a confidante to successive prime ministers because of his accuracy and integrity.
Once saved by John Major from stumbling down part of the Great Wall of China, Moncrieff’s greatest ‘scoop’ came in November 1990 when his old great sparring partner Bernard Ingham – Margaret Thatcher’s press secretary – phoned him to break the news that the PM was quitting.
He literally had to snatch a piece of paper from a secretary as he was informed: “You might wish to transmit this rather quickly, Mrs Thatcher is to resign.”
Yet it is a measure of the high regard in which Chris Moncrieff was held that it was he who received that historic call before any other journalist.