Stephen Farry MLA said: “I was saddened to hear of the death of Sir John. As a former MLA and Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, he served North Down with distinction. Sir John was always fair and honest as a politician and his time as Chair of the Talks Forum outlined his commitment to politics and the peace process. While he served as a Deputy Speaker during a difficult time in the first Assembly, we must commend the contribution he made to the institution.
“We must also pay tribute to his service during World War Two and as an RUC officer.
“I would like to express my sympathies to the family and friends of Sir John.”