Ben Lowry: Christopher Stalford was a thoughtful Stormont politician, with a dry wit

Today’s funeral for the DUP MLA Christopher Stalford is 2pm at Ravenhill Presbyterian Church.

By Ben Lowry
Saturday, 26th February 2022, 9:38 am
Updated Saturday, 26th February 2022, 9:40 am
Christopher Stalford got into politics young and matured into a thoughtful politician who seemed set to rise into positions of ever increasing importance
Christopher Stalford got into politics young and matured into a thoughtful politician who seemed set to rise into positions of ever increasing importance

There have been so many warm tributes to the young politician from people who knew him better than I did that there is not a lot left for me to add. So I will just say this.

I first encountered Christopher in the early 2000s when covering politics and recall seeing him with the 2005 DUP Westminster candidate in Newry and Armagh, when Sinn Fein won the seat off the SDLP. He was part of boisterous, but not unpleasant, scenes between the rival groups of supporters at the count. I later had dealings with him when he was a DUP press officer in a team that was not afraid to push the party’s case. Then I saw him mature into a thoughtful politician, as was so evident in his recent appearance on a BBC Spotlight Special.

He was courteous with a dry wit. A year or so ago he arrived at the BBC to find that I too was waiting to go on The View, and said with pretend weariness but slight smile: “Ah, a vaguely conservative voice on commentators’ corner for once.”

I assumed he would be in politics for decades, rising to positions of ever increasing importance – a smart, conscientious public servant. My deepest sympathy to his family.

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