Former PUP leader and ex-Lord Mayor of Belfast Hugh Smyth dies
Former PUP leader and party stalwart, Hugh Smyth, has died.
The Progressive Unionist Party man - who served as Lord Mayor of Belfast in 1994 - was the longest serving member of Belfast City Council.
He stepped away from politics last year due to ill health.
Mr Smyth was awarded an OBE in 1996.
The current PUP leader, Billy Hutchinson - who replaced Mr Smyth on Belfast City Council after he stepped down - described him as a "pioneer of working-class politics".
"Hugh made a monumental contribution to the political process in Northern Ireland over the course of the last 40 years," he said.
"He was a staunch and proud Unionist and a pioneer of working-class politics."
Among those also paying tribute today was party colleague John Kyle.
Speaking on Twitter he said:
"Very sad to report the death of Hugh Smyth. Pioneer of loyalist politics who worked tirelessly for the welfare of working class communities."
Former PUP leader, Dawn Purvis said her deepest sympathies were with Mr Smyth's family.
"So sorry to hear about the death of Hughie Smyth OBE. Deepest sympathy to his wife Ellen and the wider family"