A prominent Portadown councillor, who left the DUP just five months ago, has confirmed he has rejoined the party.
Councillor Darryn Causby, who left the party for “political reasons” less than 24 hours after Edwin Poots resigned as leader, announced today (Tuesday) that following “encouraging” conversations with the party’s leader, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP, he has made the decision to rejoin the party.
“The challenges Northern Ireland faces as a result of the protocol means that a strong and united unionism is more important than ever,” said Cllr Causby.
“A fracturing of unionism offers a victory to those who want to undermine Northern Ireland and our position within the United Kingdom.
“I have been very encouraged in the conversations I have had with Sir Jeffrey about his vision for both the DUP and for Northern Ireland as a whole.
“I want to encourage anyone who shares our desire to move Northern Ireland forward to join the DUP and be part of this task together.”
First elected to the legacy Craigavon Borough Council as a DUP councillor in 2011, Cllr Causby retained his Portadown seat in the first elections to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council before becoming the newly formed council’s first Lord Mayor in April 2015.
He topped the poll in Portadown in 2019, with 18.51 per cent of the first preference votes, and speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service in June explained that he had not fallen out with the local party.
“I have left the party for political reasons. The members of the DUP in ABC and Upper Bann have done me no wrong, they have been nothing but good to me and gracious and respectful of my decision,” he said.
“[DUP group leader, Councillor] Mark Baxter was groomsman at my wedding and if I was getting married tomorrow, both he and [Alderman] Stephen Moutray would be there with me, along with others from the party.
“They are not just colleagues and I have not left on bad terms with the local party. I am sad it has come to this but that is just the way it is and, at this stage, I have no regrets about it.”
Welcoming Cllr Causby’s return to the party, Upper Bann MP, Carla Lockhart described the Portadown man as a “true friend”.
“First and foremost I see Darryn as a true friend and that has always been the case. It is great to welcome him back within the DUP fold,” said the DUP MP.
“There is no doubt that Darryn has always been a much valued colleague and someone who puts his heart and soul into achieving the best outcomes for his constituents in Portadown.
“The DUP team right across Upper Bann is committed to delivery in local communities and effective representation for all. Darryn will play a key role in the team and I look forward to working with him again as a DUP Councillor.
“The DUP are standing up for unionism under the strong and principled leadership of Sir Jeffrey Donaldson. Like many unionists, Darryn has recognised that Sir Jeffrey has the plan to address the protocol, and to deliver for grassroots unionist and loyalist communities.”
Reflecting on Cllr Causby’s decision, Mr Donaldson said he was “delighted” someone “so deeply rooted in the community” is to rejoin the party.
“Since I became leader of the DUP, I have sought to set forward a vision for the future of Northern Ireland and to strengthen our position from within the United Kingdom,” he said.
“Key to that is a strong and cohesive unionism which speaks with a united voice.
“Darryn is someone deeply rooted within the community and recognises the importance of working together to deliver the very best for the people we represent.
“I am delighted that he will continue that hard work again from within the Democratic Unionist Party, as part of a team striving to deliver for Portadown and the wider Upper Bann area.”