Christopher Stallford: Northern Ireland politician dies at 39, says DUP
Tributes were paid for Mr Stallford, a married father who has represented South Belfast in the Northern Ireland Assembly since 2016.
The party has said that DUP politician Christopher Stallford has died suddenly at the age of 39.
|Christopher Stallford: dies at 39-image credit-https://news.sky.com|
DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said the South Belfast Assembly Member (MLA), a married father, passed away this weekend.
Mr Stallford was a rising star in Northern Ireland politics and was often sent to speak to the media on behalf of the party.
Sir Jeffrey said: “I am deeply saddened to learn of the sudden death of Christopher. He was not just an elected representative or aide, he was a friend.
“Offering tribute from the party, I express their deep sentiments to their (wife) Laura and all the Stalford family, as well as Christopher Stolford who was a great father, son and brother. I dedicate tribute.
He further said that on Friday night, I had a long talk between me and Christopher. He was a very emotional person to do Northern Ireland and his actions very well. He was very proud of his wife Laura and children.
“I did not know that this would be our last conversation, which was very precious. In this conversation, he had talked about his wife Laura and children. He talked about admission in high school and the House The discussion was talked about.
“Christopher was born to be a public representative. From his teenage years, he was a regular contributor to politics in both the print and broadcast media.”
Earlier this year, Mr Stallford said he left Twitter because it was “horrible” and that the constant abuse and hatred was unhealthy.
Despite being a close ally of former leader Arlene Foster, he was one of the first DUP legislators to publicly declare his support for Edwin Poot’s leadership bid last year, who was ousted from the top job.
Ms Foster said she was “struggling to process” Mr Stallford’s death as she sent her thoughts and prayers to his family, adding that she would remember him as “happy and confident”.
Politicians of all stripes have paid tribute to Mr Stallford, with many noting his good humor and ability to iron out differences.
|Mr Stalford pictured with his mother Karen and wife Laura-image credit-https://news.sky.com
Sinn Féin Vice President Michelle O’Neill said his death was “extremely sad”, adding: “On behalf of the Sinn Féin assembly team, I express my condolences and I extend my sincere sympathy to his wife Laura and their four children.” Those who are at the forefront of it. Our thoughts this afternoon.”
DUP president Lord Morrow said he had known Mr Stallford since childhood and that the party was “shocked and saddened by his death but most of all we are saddened by Laura, her four young children and Christopher’s wider family.”
The SDLP postponed its spring conference on Sunday as a mark of respect, with leader Colm Eastwood saying he had known Mr Stallford for more than 20 years and that his death “came as such a shock”. .
He said that “there was not a single political issue” but the pair agreed and that they “could have a stormy debate with shrill words and loud voices in the assembly, but as soon as you left, she would always have a laugh and a laugh. “.
Ulster Unionist Party leader Doug Beatty said he had “different political views”, but “never traded the word angry” as he used the principle to ensure the assembly “runs smoothly” as deputy speaker. Praised him for ensuring his role as “which he did skillfully and with good humour”.
Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis sent his condolences to Mr Stallford’s family and friends, saying the DUP politician was “passionate about the important issues affecting the Northern Irish people” and that a better Northern Ireland for all. dedicated to the construction.
Mr Stallford was a regular political media contributor since his teens and had been associated with the DUP since his early 20s.
He was first elected to Stormont in 2016, then in 2017 and became chief deputy speaker of the assembly in 2020.
Married to former dental nurse Laura, the couple has four children together, Trinity, Oliver, Cameron and Abigail, who were born in 2018.