The south Belfast representative and father-of-four died suddenly
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Tributes flood in following the death of 39 year old Christopher Stalford DUP MLA
Last updated: Monday, 21 February, 2022, 07:54
Emma Little Pengelly
For almost 25 years, our lives in politics had been intertwined. From the moment we met as teens, we battled the piece out. Often on the same page, often not too - but we travelled that road together. So many lovely tributes today, but so hard to realise our chapter is closed 💔
Peter Weir: My friend Christopher Stalford was a true unionist but not a two dimensional political ideologue
I first met him at Stormont in the late 1990s, when he was still at school, and a frequent visitor to Stormont with his friend and constituency predecessor Mark Robinson MLA.
I have known Christopher Stalford all of his adult life, and been his friend throughout.
Very saddened to learn of the death of Christopher Stalford MLA, a passionate and dedicated servant of the people of South Belfast.
My thoughts are with the Stalford family at this very difficult time.
I have been really struggling to process the news of Christopher’s death, but my first thoughts and my prayers are with Laura and his beloved and adored children.
This is how I will remember him, happy and confident after the 2016 election. Matthew 5v4.
Brian John Spencer
I got on v well with Christopher Stalford.
I would see him in Belvoir when I lived there and often park outside his office I really enjoyed chatting to him & painting him. I did of him and his son.
I felt compelled to draw this because he was such an exceptionally good father.
Brandon Lewis, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland said:
“My sincere condolences to Christopher Stalford’s family and friends on this very sad news.
As MLA and Principal Deputy Speaker, Christopher was passionate about crucial issues that affected people across NI and was dedicated to building a better Northern Ireland for everyone.”
Rivals from across the political spectrum have paid tribute to DUP MLA Christopher Stalford following his death aged 39.
Alliance release: Long pays tribute to Christopher Stalford
Alliance Leader Naomi Long MLA has paid tribute to Christopher Stalford, saying it is hard to put into words her shock, sadness and devastation at the news of his passing.
Mr Stalford was aged 39 and leaves behind a wife and four children.“Despite our politics often being radically different, Christopher and I had a warm personal friendship, with him often talking to me about his pride in his family,” said Mrs Long.
“Christopher was High Sheriff at Belfast City Council while I was Lord Mayor, and we carried that close relationship throughout the rest of our political careers.
Just this week, we discussed his eldest child’s school transfer and it is difficult to put into words my shock, sadness and devastation just days later we are discussing his passing.
“He was a genuine and funny person, who was dedicated to public service. Christopher revelled in the role of Principal Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, carrying out his duties in an even-handed and fair manner, no matter the situation.
“My thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies are with Christopher’s wife Laura, his four children, the wider family circle and his party colleagues.”