Speaking from Derry today, she said: “Throughout his political life, John took immense inspiration from the European Union as the greatest peace and prosperity project of the 20th century.
“In the aftermath of two world wars, after centuries of conflict and with millions dead across the continent, the peoples of Europe, with their allegiances to many flags and many nations, came together in a spirit of reconciliation to send a powerful message that there is so much more that unites us than could possibly divide us.
“John himself understood that after so much conflict, the European project that began as the common market of nations coming together, working to “spill their sweat and not their blood” was a vision of brilliance.
“It was an utter inspiration for him on our path toward peace and later, it became an integral part of our solution.
“We need another passionate advocate for Europe and for Europe’s place in Northern Ireland today.“I’ve watched the campaigns and I believe that Colum Eastwood is that advocate.
“He understands the value of our European identity, he has unwaveringly and unapologetically defended the European values and ideals that John took inspiration from.
“And I believe that his success in this election will send a powerful message that parties must come back to the politics of hope and reconciliation.
“Our influence in Europe has slipped. I believe that Colum can build on John’s work and his legacy in the European Parliament. That’s why I’ll be giving him my fullest support tomorrow,” added Mrs Hume.