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UUP councillor quits over leader’s controversial pledge

A local Ulster Unionist councillor has resigned over the party leader’s comments that he would give preference votes to the SDLP before the DUP.

Mike Nesbitt’s controversial comments ahead of the March 2 poll has created great division within the party at grassroots level.

Now Councillor Carol Black – a member of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council – has quit.

The former Banbridge district councillor claimed the whole ethos of the party had been destroyed.

Ms Black, a businesswoman from Dromore, said she will not be joining another party after confirming her resignation.

The comments by Mike Nesbitt also revealed dissension at higher levels.

Newry and Armagh election candidate Danny Kennedy – a former UUP Stormont minister – was quick to clarify his position after the public statement.

He said he would be encouraging his voters to give their preferences to the other unionist candidate standing in the constituency.

All six former MLAs are standing in the election, alongside CISTA’s Emmett Crossan, Jackie Coade of the Alliance Party and Green Party representative Rowan Tunnicliffe.


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