Jim Nicholson's final farewell after 30 years as Ulster Unionist MEP
Northern Ireland's longest-serving Member of the European Parliament has been honoured after 30 years in Strasbourg.
Jim Nicholson's last day as an Ulster Unionist MEP was marked at a leaving ceremony in the European Parliament yesterday.
Mr Nicholson said it was now time to say goodbye and he was looking ahead to retirement from politics.
He added: "I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every moment representing the people of Northern Ireland in Europe.
"I want to thank my friends, family, party colleagues and staff for their support over the years. It would not have been possible without them. I also want to wish all my colleagues in the European Parliament the very best for the future, especially with the difficult discussions that still lie ahead with Brexit.
"During my time as an MEP, Northern Ireland witnessed some of the darkest days Europe has seen in the past 50 years.
"I dearly hope a brighter future lies ahead for us all."
Yesterday also saw our newest MEP Naomi Long take her seat in the Strasbourg chamber on the first day of the parliament's new session.
The Alliance leader was joined by returning MEPs Diane Dodds of the DUP and Sinn Fein's Martina Anderson.