THE Conservative MP Ian Gow, who was murdered by the IRA in 1990, has been remembered in the Palace of Westminster with the unveiling of a memorial plaque.
A parliamentary private secretary to the then prime minister Margaret Thatcher and Treasury minister, Mr Gow resigned as a minister in protest at the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement.
Former UUP leader Lord Empey, who attended the ceremony, said that the late MP had been “a great unionist”.
“My last act as MLA for East Belfast was to attend the unveiling of a plaque at Westminster in memory of the late Conservative MP for Eastbourne, Ian Gow,” he said.
Lord Empey called for a similar memorial to be placed in memory of the two other MPs murdered by the IRA — Sir Anthony Berry and the Rev Robert Bradford.
He added: “It was disappointing that not a single Northern Ireland MP was present to mark the occasion, given that Ian was such a staunch supporter of our place in the United Kingdom.”
On a visit to Ballymena in 2009, David Cameron recalled that Mr Gow had been one of the first people he had written a speech for.
The then leader of the opposition said: “He was a wonderful Member of Parliament. He served as a Member of Parliament for Eastbourne and he was murdered by the IRA.
“I remember when that happened and I remember how kind he was to me.
“I remember that wonderfully kind man and I remember how not just sad, but how angry I was when he was murdered.
“He wasn’t my family, but I know that sense of loss.”