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Lord Molyneaux `close companion' Christopher Luke dies in England

Lord Molyneaux pictured with Christopher Luke during the pair's last meeting, shortly before his death

LESS than two years after revealing himself as the "close companion" of former Ulster Unionist leader Lord Molyneaux, Christopher Luke, hailed a "true Rainbow Warrior" by friends, has died.

Mr Luke (50), who had been due to visit Northern Ireland this month, was an enthusiastic unionist, writing dozens of letters from his Tunbridge Wells home in support of the cause.

His revelations to The Irish News in March 2016 about his "very, very close relationship with Jimmy" caused a storm of controversy, with the younger man revealing how the peer's "London flat was where we developed our own personal relationship beyond politics".

Mr Luke was open about his mental health struggles, revealing publicly how he has been plagued by "Generalised Anxiety Disorder and recurring bouts of depression".

"For me, personally, I spend virtually every waking minute of my day, every day, worrying about work - my workload and the allocation of work activities among my colleagues at my place of employment," he wrote.

"... Round and round in a circle, like a broken record or a rat trapped in the wheel of a vivisectionist’s laboratory, these thoughts go inside my head - on a bad day, starving me of my appetite, sleep, and at their worst my will to live."

Mr Luke, a former senior support worker in a residential home for younger disabled adults, had recently been campaigning for disablity rights.

Tunbridge Wells Pride announced his death on Friday.

"It is with the upmost sadness that we tell you that Christopher Luke has passed away. Forever fighting in our corner. We've all lost a true Rainbow Warrior. Shine on, you crazy diamond.

"You were truly a wonderful man. You'll be forever missed."

Organisers urged others "if you ever feel sad or lonely, message us. We will be there for you, day or night".

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