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Write 'Derry' on election paper and you won't be allowed to stand, Electoral Office warns nationalist candidates

By Claire Cromie

Published 02/04/2015

Sinn Fein's Caoimhe Archibald is running against the DUP's Gregory Campbell
Sinn Fein's Caoimhe Archibald is running against the DUP's Gregory Campbell

Election candidates in Londonderry have been told they cannot write "Derry" on nomination papers - and if they do they will not be allowed to stand.

The Electoral Office contacted candidates in East Londonderry - normally referred to as East Derry by Sinn Fein and the SDLP - to warn them that no abbreviation of the constituency's name will be accepted on forms.

A spokeswoman said the office is bound by legislation.

The SDLP's John Dallat told the Irish News the Electoral Office "would need to be careful" and to "keep their nose out of politics".

"'Derry' was always used by both sides of the community and only became political when unionists made it an issue," he said, "the Electoral Office is causing a great deal of anger - is that as far as we have advanced."

The SDLP has selected Limavady councillor Gerry Mullan to stand, while Caoimhe Archibald is running for Sinn Fein. She has a campaign page on Facebook called "EastDerry Sinn Fein".

However the DUP's Gregory Campbell, who currently holds the seat, is expected to retain it.

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