Northern Ireland’s political leaders have paid tribute to veteran Tory MP Sir David Amess, who died following a stabbing incident.
He was attacked at a constituency surgery in Essex.
First Minister Paul Givan described a “brutal attack on a man with a distinguished history of public service”.
“The repercussions will resonate with us all,” he said.
“But, more than this, Sir David was a husband, father and colleague – and it is those closest to him who will feel this loss most profoundly. My immediate thoughts are with Sir David’s family and friends at this very sad time.”
Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “I was deeply shocked to learn of the death of David Amess in the most tragic of circumstances. No public representative should face attack when carrying out their duties on behalf of their constituents.
“My thoughts and prayers, first and foremost, are with David’s family and friends at this awful time.”
DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson conveyed his condolences to Sir David’s family and friends.
“Our prayers are with those closest to David. This is shocking and horrendous,” he said.
“Sir David Amess has been a long-standing friend to me personally but also to the Union. More than many in Westminster, he took a keen interest in Northern Ireland and its people. He always wanted to see the country moving forward.
“Such a brutal attack must be condemned and is a reminder of the dangers which still face people in public office.”
SDLP leader and Foyle MP Colum Eastwood described the death as “shocking beyond words”.
“He left home this morning to meet constituents and do his best for his local community. To suffer a brutal attack like this in the line of public service is absolutely horrendous,” he said.
“Politicians make themselves accessible to the public to provide support and improve their lives. No one believes that they’ll be attacked in that effort. Political leaders will be united across party lines today following this terrible news.
“My thoughts are with David’s family, friends and colleagues at such a difficult time.”
Ulster Unionist leader Doug Beattie said it was heart-breaking news.
“The tributes being paid to him from across all political parties demonstrate a huge level of respect for a thoroughly decent, hard-working constituency MP,” he said.
“It`s an absolute tragedy that he lost his life doing the job he loved while serving his constituents.
“On behalf of the Ulster Unionist Party, I offer my deepest sympathies to Sir David`s family, friends and colleagues.”
TUV leader Jim Allister said Sir David’s death has shocked the nation.
“The news will prompt many memories for people across Northern Ireland not least of how Rev Robert Bradford was murdered while serving his constituents,” he said.
“I trust the family of Sir David will draw comfort from the knowledge that they will be remembered in the prayers of countless people this evening.”
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