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Former regional press lobby man dies aged 68

A former political journalist who covered Parliament for a series of regional newspapers in the 1970s and 80s has died aged 68.

Rodney Deitch started out on the now defunct Leytonstone Independent in London before joining the then Northcliffe Newspapers lobby team in 1974.

He provided parliamentary reports for the group’s evening papers in Swansea, Cheltenham, Gloucester and Derby before leaving in 1986 to set up a company producing subscription based newsletters.

Rodney died on Christmas Day after a battle with lung cancer.

His company, Cadmus Newsletters, was responsible for publishing the Parliamentary Health Monitor along with other niche publications.

He also ran a political consultancy, Rodney Deitch Associates.

Friend and former colleague Frank Jezierski, who worked in the regional Lobby with Rodney from 1980 until 1986, called him “a warm, empathetic, human, self-effacing, affectionate friend.”

“Unlike national newspaper journalists were not in competition. Rodney and I would have morning coffee together before going to 10 Downing Street to hear the latest thoughts from Margaret Thatcher’s press secretary,” he said.

“The bombastic Tory Sally Oppenheim, the Beast of Bolsover Dennis Skinner, the thrilling Edwina Currie and brilliant Matthew Parris were just a few of the colourful – and frequently self-important – characters that Rodney charmed.

“Often that would be on the telephone from his desk. When he put the phone down, we were treated to Rodney’s mimicry, which was always a treat.”

During his career Rodney also worked for the Nottingham Evening Post and the Brighton Argus and was also the political correspondent for The Lancet and other medical publications.

An accomplished watercolourist, leaves a wife, Liz, and three children by a previous marriage.  His funeral was held at the Surrey and Sussex Crematorium.

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  • January 15, 2014 at 8:57 pm
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    Rodney was a brilliant watcher of politics for Northcliffe Newspapers while I was London Editor, his insights humourous and his companionship to others in the Lobby legendary. May he rest in peace – but still give those below a run for their money! A good man.

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