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DUP Leader & First Minister Arlene Foster has spoken of her sadness at the passing of Jimmy Spratt. Jimmy was a former Councillor and MLA for the Party.

Arlene Foster said,

I am deeply saddened to learn of Jimmy’s passing. He was a dear friend and colleague.

On behalf of the Party, I express my sympathies to Lynda and the Spratt family on the loss of a husband, father, grandfather and brother.

I talked with Jimmy after his last consultation when the news was not good, and we recognised it may be one of our last conversations. Yet in the face of such news, Jimmy spoke so touchingly about the tough days ahead for his family rather than him. His focus was on Lynda and the children.

Jimmy Spratt dedicated much of his life to trying to move Northern Ireland forward. After he retired from serving his country in the RUC which he joined in 1972 and latterly the PSNI when he served as Chairman of the Police Federation, he became a full-time public representative being elected to Castlereagh Council in 2005 and the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2007.

Jimmy believed in peace making. He believed in building a shared future so everyone who lived here could feel at home. He wanted to make devolution work. He recognised that to get there would involve heavy lifting and tough conversations, but he never shied away from the challenge. Indeed, even in our final conversation Jimmy was unstinting in his support and encouragement to keep Northern Ireland moving in the right direction.

The Spratt family will be in our prayers as they mourn his passing.”