Commons Speaker John Bercow has paid warm tribute to the sincerity of DUP MP Jim Shannon.
Speaking after the Strangford MP had spoken on behalf of the DUP in wishing Mr Bercow well, the Speaker said: “Colleagues, I think you’ll forgive me if I say this very publicly to the honourable gentleman, the Member for Strangford. I bet others have noticed it; I certainly have ever since he came into the house and we got to know each other.
“The honourable gentleman is a person of strong religious faith. As it happens, I am not. I’ve always been proud of my Jewish roots and my Jewish identity but I am not a practicing religious person.
“What I admire about the honourable gentleman, and I think makes him a most lovable figure in the House of Commons, is that he radiates warmth, empathy and compassion and he is one of those people of faith who doesn’t spend time preaching it; he lives it.”