Greens Support SDLP's Claire Hanna In South Belfast

Green Party leader Clare Bailey has confirmed she will stand aside in South Belfast in the hope of electing the SDLP's Claire Hanna as a pro-Remain Westminster MP.

Ms Bailey, a current MLA for the constituency, said Ms Hanna is "best placed" to take the seat from the incumbent DUP MP Emma Little-Pengelly.

South Belfast is expected to be a close race between the SDLP and DUP after Sinn Fein said it would not run candidates there or in East Belfast and North Down.

Ms Bailey said: "These are extraordinary times that demand an extraordinary response.

"Almost 70% of the people of South Belfast voted to remain in the EU and its vital that a pro-Remain MP is returned.

"This is a first past the post election and Claire Hanna is best placed to take the South Belfast seat from the incumbent pro-Brexit MP based on previous results."
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The DUP's Little-Pengelly is expected to come under pressure for the seat, with votes usually cast for Sinn Fein and the Green Party likely to be lent to Ms Hanna.

The SDLP MLA said she is "genuinely thrilled" to have the backing of the Green Party in the December 12 poll.

"I & so many others greatly admire Clare Bailey & her team for their practical, planet-centred & post-sectarian politics," she wrote on Twitter.

"This election is about Brexit & we're fighting hard to be South Belfast's Remain voice."

The move comes amid a series of announcements of parties lending support to other candidates. The SDLP is not fielding anyone in North Belfast, East Belfast or North Down and urged its supporters to vote for other pro-Remain candidates.

Similarly, the DUP has stood aside in Fermanagh South Tyrone to support Ulster Unionist Tom Elliot, who is yet to confirm whether he will run or not, while his party will not field a candidate in North Belfast to allow unionists to support DUP incumbent Nigel Dodds amid pressure from Sinn Fein's John Finucane.


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