03/01/2007

Former UUP MP dies aged 81

Former Ulster Unionist MP Cecil Walker has died today after suffering a heart attack.

The MP for north Belfast between 1983 and 2001, Sir Cecil lost his seat to the DUP's Nigel Dodds.

Ulster Unionist Party Leader Sir Reg Empey said: “I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the Walker family at this sad time.

“Sir Cecil was a dedicated public servant who represented the people of North Belfast both as a councillor at Belfast city council and for 18 years as MP for the area. His friendly and gentlemanly manner endeared him to both political friend and foe alike.

“Sir Cecil was widely respected within the Unionist family and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”

Former Ulster Unionist Party Leader Lord Trimble added: “Sir Cecil Walker will always be remembered as a loyal representative of the Ulster Unionist Party who was noted for his tireless work on behalf of his constituents. I will always remember him with great affection.”

Party colleague UUP MLA Fred Cobain said: "He was a tremendous individual and had a great rapport with ordinary working class people in the constituency and was a personal friend.

"This really has taken the wind out of those who knew him."

(EF)

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