John Blundell of the Institute of Economic Affairs has issued the following statement:

"I am very sorry indeed to inform you that Lord (Ralph) Harris died suddenly at his home in north London this morning.  An ambulance was called at 8am but he could not be revived at hospital and a heart attack is suspected.  At this point we have no other details but we will be sure to inform you as and when."

Ralph Harris was one of the great thinkers behind the Thatcher years and Britain’s economic renaissance.  He will be sadly missed.

4.15pm update from Eamonn Butler on the ASI blog: "Together with Arthur Seldon and John Wood, Ralph Harris built the Institute of Economic Affairs into a power-house of free-market and classical liberal ideas, and for many years Ralph was the IEA’s public face. This work was marked by the peerage which came soon after Mrs Thatcher’s election in 1979. True to his principles, however, he allied himself with no political party, and sat on the cross benches in the House of Lords."

Danny Finkelstein (5pm): "I owe a great deal to Ralph Harris and the late Arthur Seldon, the men who founded the Institute of Economic Affairs and were tireless campaigners for liberty. Their greatest achievement in the as to promote the idea of free market reform when it was deeply unfashionable. By changing the mind of a few individuals in the Conservative Party they changed the world."