Mrs Long said: “This is very sad news tonight. Paddy was a genuinely inspirational and dynamic politician who I’m glad I had the opportunity to meet.
“A great orator and enormously charismatic figure, he was always insightful in his analysis and forthright and passionate in articulating his views. His was a lively and valued addition to any debate and I know he will be sorely missed by all who knew him and by those with whom he served in Parliament.
“Paddy was a great friend to Northern Ireland, having grown up here, and a strong supporter of our peace process. We in Alliance always valued his input and support.
“He was a true statesman of international stature and politics is much poorer for his passing.
“My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time.”