Lynn Faulds Wood, the journalist and consumer rights campaigner, has died aged 72 after suffering a stroke.
Faulds Wood was long a supporter of trading standards and consumer protection, having presented the BBC’s Watchdog from 1985 to 1993.
She became highly regarded in the field of product safety and was commissioned by the Government to lead an independent review into product recalls in 2015. The UK consumer product recall report, which was published in 2016, called for better information sharing between officials tasked with protecting the public, as well as an official website for product recalls.
Faulds Wood was critical of the Government after the report’s publication, feeling that many of her recommendations had been ignored. She told the BBC following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in June 2017, “We do not know what caused the Grenfell Tower fire, but what we do know is that we are putting people at risk because we don’t have a good enough system.”
Faulds Wood also spoke out about the impact of budget cuts to local authorities, believing that a decline in consumer protection funding put the public in danger.
She was offered an MBE in 2016 but refused it as she felt the honours system needed “dragging into the 21st century”, and accepting the title would make her a “hypocrite”.
Faulds Wood was appointed as an ambassador for London Trading Standards in 2017.
Following her death on Friday, April 24, former friends and colleagues paid tribute. Dame Esther Rantzen said: “She fought for the rights of vulnerable people doggedly and determinedly and she is a huge loss to journalism and to her friends and family. We are all devastated at this news.”
Her husband and former Watchdog co-presenter John Stapleton said in a statement: “Huge thank you to the hundreds and hundreds of people who have paid tribute to Lynn. A wonderful mother to Nick, a loving and hugely supportive wife to me and a campaigning journalist on so many fronts who really made a difference to the world we live in. We’ll miss her always.”