We are saddened to hear of the recent death of our dear friend and Advisor General Lord David Ramsbotham, who passed away in December after a fall.

David Ramsbotham was a remarkable leader. A former Commander-in-Chief of the UK land forces, after retiring from the military he made waves as Chief Inspector of Prisons in the UK and spearheaded action to bring greater dignity and care to the prison system. His book Prisongate tells the captivating story of his efforts to speed up slow-moving prison policy and create positive change.

He was later made an honorary Doctor of Civil Law by seven universities, and given a peerage for life in 2005 as Baron Ramsbotham, of Kensington.

We were immensely fortunate at Plan for Peace and Business Plan for Peace to benefit from his wise counsel over the years. He was also an advocate of the Oxford Research Group which our founder Scilla Elworthy established in 1982. She says: “He was a great friend and a guide in tough times. For example, in the late 1980s the UK Ministry of Defence, alarmed at our progress in starting talks on nuclear non-proliferation, put a ban on anyone from the armed forces entering into dialogue with the Oxford Research Group. David instantly made clear that he found this dictum outrageous and promptly accepted our invitation to speak as part of our discussions in an Oxford college. His open support for our work encouraged others to take part in our meetings, and David himself co-led with me two delegations that Oxford Research Group took to China.”

We are grateful to Lord David for his support of our work.