UUP anti-agreement faction gain selection ground

In a surprise move the Ulster Unionist Party assembly chief whip has been de-selected for the next Stormont elections.

Assembly member for Lagan Valley, Ivan Davis, was dropped from the party's ticket at a meeting of the Lagan Valley constituency association on Wednesday night.

The UUP candidates for the next election, which are currently scheduled to take place in May 2003, will be local MP Jeffrey Donaldson, who has received special permission from the party to stand, sitting member Billy Bell, Nora Beare and Jim Kirkpatrick.

This is a three-to-one majority in favour of the anti-agreement faction within the UUP.

Viewed as a strong supporter of UUP leader David Trimble, Mr Davis said he was "not surprised by the outcome" and had suffered at the hands of the anti-agreement camp.

Party colleague Fred Cobain said that he thought Mr Davis should have had sufficient credentials to be re-selected.

Formerly a member of the DUP, Mr Davis joined the UUP several years ago and topped the polls at the last election. He currently sits on the Business Committee at Stormont.

Recently, another sitting member Dr Ian Adamson was de-selected in East Belfast.

As the selection process gets under way number of Unionist MLAs have declared that they are not seeking re-election.

Sam Foster, Joan Carson (Fermanagh & South Tyrone), Sir John Gorman (North Down) and Duncan Shipley Dalton (South Antrim) have all confirmed they will not seek re-election.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

06 November 2020
Sexual Crime Victims Continually Let Down- Green Party NI
Latest official figures on sexual offences in Northern Ireland show victims are being continually let down, the Green Party has claimed. Calls for improved outcomes for victims have emerged after the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) revealed that the conviction rate for the offence of rape stands at 29.9%.
06 March 2020
Stormont Speaker Warned Of 'Imminent Attack' Against Him
The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly has been informed of an "imminent attack" against him. Sinn Fein MLA Alex Maskey revealed he had been visited by the PSNI on Thursday and told a threat had been received.
18 February 2020
Dissidents Plan Car Bomb Attack On Sinn Fein
Dissident republicans are planning an attack on a member of Sinn Fein using an under car explosive device, the party's deputy leader has said. Michelle O'Neill said her party was informed on Monday night, 17 February, of the New IRA plot. She was informed the attack could take place "anywhere in the north" and against any of the party members.
11 February 2020
Sinn Fein Comes Under Dissident Threat
Sinn Fein deputy leader Michelle O'Neill has been warned of planned attacks against herself and party colleague Gerry Kelly by dissident republicans. Northern Ireland's deputy First Minister was informed by the PSNI of intelligence pointing to attacks targeting her and Gerry Kelly MLA, the party's policing spokesperson.
13 November 2020
'Parklets' Concept Approved For Outdoor Spaces
The Alliance Party have won approval for a proposal on "Parklets" as the way forward for meet ups outdoors.