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Journalist who covered Rivers of Blood speech dies aged 88

Reg HarcourtA regional journalist who covered Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech has died aged 88.

Tributes have been paid to Reg Harcourt, who worked on titles including the Nottingham Evening Post and the now-defunct Evening Despatch in Birmingham.

Reg, pictured, later went on to the Caters News Agency, before undertaking a broadcasting carer with ATV Midlands and as ITV Central’s political editor.

He was the only TV journalist present when the controversial politician gave the 1968 speech, in which he claimed that “in this country in 15 or 20 years’ time the black man will have the whip hand over the white man”.

Paying tribute to Reg, Birmingham Press Club president Bob Warman said: “Long after retirement he and his wife Annie, took an active part in the social life of the Birmingham Press Club where they were a popular couple.

“He always took great delight in recalling times which were filled with laughter.”

Ex-Birmingham Evening Mail deputy editor Tony Dickens further described Reg as a “true gentleman-journalist”.

Reg died on 12 January.

He is survived by wife Annie, a former Birmingham Evening mail reporter, his daughter Jennifer, son-in-law James and grandchildren William, aged two and five-month-old Oliver.