More tributes to 'larger than life' peer Lord Laird
Tributes have been pouring in for the "larger than life" Lord Laird, who has died at the age of 74.
Renowned as being one of Northern Ireland's most colourful politicians, it is understood he passed away in hospital after an illness.
DUP leader Arlene Foster expressed her sympathy to the peer's family.
She said: "I have known John Laird for many years and he had a character which was larger than life. The news of his death will be felt across unionism and the Ulster-Scots community, of which he was a strong advocate.
"It is very poignant that he should pass away at this time of year and I am very sorry to hear of his passing."
Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson said: "I was very saddened to learn of the death of my former party colleague.
"John was an outgoing personality with media skills that were to the benefit of unionism during the difficult years of the seventies and eighties. My sympathy goes out to his wife and family."
The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland also expressed regret and sadness at the passing of Lord Laird.