The Ulster Unionist Party in North Down is to back sitting MP Lady Sylvia Hermon in this year’s General Election. Accordingly, the Party’s prospective candidate, Ards and North Down Councillor Carl McClean, will not nominate for the 7thof May.
Explaining the decision, Party Leader, Mike Nesbitt MLA, said:
“It is now clear that Lady Sylvia Hermon is to contest the seat again this year. In our view, she is not only a suitable choice for Ulster Unionists, she is still an Ulster Unionist in spirit, and on that basis it makes no sense to stand a candidate against her.
“I am grateful to our prospective candidate, Councillor Carl McClean, for agreeing to stand aside. Carl has hit the ground running since entering elected politics last May when he won a seat on the Shadow Super Council. I believe he is one of several Ulster Unionists in the North Down constituency who has a career in politics ahead of them, and I look forward to him contesting for votes again in the near future.”
Councillor McClean said:
“In the Ulster Unionist Party, we don’t just say we will do the right thing for Northern Ireland; we walk the walk as well. The right thing for North Down in this Westminster Election is to get behind Lady Hermon and return her to the House of Commons with another massive majority. I invite all unionists to join us in the Ulster Unionist Party in endorsing and supporting her campaign.
"Sylvia is a tremendous ambassador for North Down in Westminster and shares the same values as us. We have to do what’s right for North Down so we will stand aside this time and ask our supporters to back Sylvia.
“I am honoured to be in a position to serve the citizens of the new Super Council area. The Ards and North Down Council goes live in a few weeks’ time and I am focused on addressing the many challenges presented by this radical restructuring of local government. Whether there is a role for me in another debating chamber is for another day. Today’s issue is about ensuring continued first class representation for the people of North Down at Westminster, and that means putting our shoulders to the wheel in support of Lady Sylvia Hermon.”