25/02/2010

UUP And Tories Name Candidates

Nine joint Tory and Ulster Unionist candidates have been selected to run in the forthcoming General Election.

The electoral partners are expected to field a shared candidate in each of Northern Ireland's 18 parliamentary constituencies.

Former TV presenter Mike Nesbitt will stand under a Ulster Unionist and Conservative - New Force banner in Strangford, the parliamentary seat previously occupied by Iris Robinson.

Lady Trimble, the wife of former UUP leader and Tory peer David Trimble, will vie for DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson's Lagan Valley Commons seat as a UNCUNF candidate.

Former rugby international Trevor Ringland is set to challenge DUP First Minister Peter Robinson in East Belfast.

Charity worker Bill Manwaring will stand as a UNCUNF candidate in West Belfast, the parliamentary constituency currently represented by Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams.
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Harry Hamilton will stand in Upper Bann, Sandra Overend has been selected for Mid Ulster and Ross Hussey will be the joint candidate in West Tyrone.

Stormont MLAs Danny Kennedy and John McAlister have also been endorsed by both parties.

Meanwhile, a prospective UUP candidates in North Down has urged incumbent MP Lady Hermon not to stand as an Independent.

This week popular Lady Hermon confirmed she would put herself forward as the joint Tory/UUP runner. She is the Unionist party's sole Westminster representative.

North Down is the only constituency where a UUP contender has not been selected. The Conservatives have put forward former Alliance Party member Ian Parsley.

Former party officer Jonny Andrews, a grandson of former Northern Ireland Prime Minister JM Andrews, is hoping to secure the UUP ticket.

He said: "It is up to her but the hope is she won’t stand as an independent.

"She was an excellent MP who runs a fantastic constituency office but at the end of the day the link with the Conservatives was agreed party policy."

(PR/BMcC)

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