Britain’s Direct Ruler in Ireland, Paul Murphy, was taken to hospital today after falling ill at the annual conference of the British Labour Party.
Mr Murphy had been due to address delegates this afternoon with an update on the negotiations process in the North of Ireland.
Labour party sources said he had simply been taken “queasy” as he sat with fellow Cabinet ministers during the British Prime Minister’s keynote address.
Mr Murphy was given a heart scan before being taken to hospital. Paramedics subsequently ruled out a cardiac problem but the politician was detained in hospital for routine tests.
A spokesman for Mr Murphy said: “He was feeling unwell earlier today and he felt a lot worse straight after the speech. He was stretchered out as a routine procedure but everything is fine now. It is categorically nothing to do with his heart. It was a funny turn.”
Mr Murphy will deliver his speech later in the week, the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, Ian Paisley has hinted that he was close to death in the run up to this month’s political talks at Leeds Castle -- but is now better.
The DUP leader wrote in the latest edition of his church magazine that he had walked “along death’s shadows”.
His party had dismissed rumours that Mr Paisley was suffering heart problems or cancer, and he had blamed “Romanists” in the media for spreading lies about his health.
Writing in the Revivalist, the magazine of the Free Presbyterian Church, Mr Paisley said he was now “wonderfully healed”. Despite appearing frail at Leeds Castle, he said: “I’m not walking along death’s shadows anymore. I feel absolutely great.”