Doug Beattie Announces Bid To Become Next UUP Leader

Upper Bann MLA Doug Beattie has announced his bid to become the next leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP).

The current leader Steve Aiken confirmed he is to resign from the post.

In a statement Mr Beattie said: "I know it was not an easy decision for Steve to make but it was made with a moral courage that typifies his service to both his country and party.

"I am grateful for his leadership and his friendship and I am glad that he will remain both an MLA and active member of the Ulster Unionist Party. "With Steve Aiken stepping down as the party leader there is clearly a decision to be made as to who will replace him.
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"I now want to make my intensions known in that I will be standing for the Leadership of the Ulster Unionist Party. I do so knowing that we, as a party and as a country, face some very real challenges today and in the future.

"It is not enough to sit back in defence of the Union, it is time to reach out to promote the union and all its benefits. In doing so we can make Northern Ireland a place where people want to live regardless of identity, religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity.

"I want to represent a pro-union politics that offers a modern, progressive vision for the future of the UK. I want to build a Northern Ireland where everyone is able to enjoy a true peace and its benefits, not just the absence of violence."

Mr Aiken will not leave the position until a successor is found.

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