Belfast Telegraph

Ruth Patterson to quit politics after disappointing South Belfast Assembly election result

By Jonny Bell

Ruth Patterson has announced she is to quit politics following her disappointing performance in the South Belfast constituency of the Northern Ireland Assembly elections.

A disgruntled ex-DUP representative, Patterson was hoping to knock her former party comrade Emma Little Pengelly out of the running in the election.

However, she only managed to secure just 475 first preference votes compared to her rival's 4,511.

The former Belfast Deputy Lord Mayor and current serving councillor announced on Saturday night she would step down from the political arena at the end of her term on the council.

In a statement, she said: "I wish to extend my thanks to those who came out to vote for me on Thursday.

”Naturally I am bitterly disappointed by the decision of the electorate, but the people have spoken and I accept their decision without reservation.

”I have indicated to friends and family that I certainly do not intend to serve beyond the completion of the current Belfast City Council mandate and I, at this point, have no intention of seeking a further mandate beyond that.

”I want to thank those who worked incredibly hard for me during the election, from the volunteers who helped with leaflets and posters to my campaign manager."

Read more: South Belfast: Bitter blow for Ruth Patterson as gamble fails against Pengelly

”I extend my congratulations to the successful candidates and wish them well for their Assembly term," she continued.

”I will be taking some time to reflect and spend time with my children and grandchildren and therefore I will be making no further comment in relation to the election.”

Patterson has made no secret of her animosity toward Emma Little Pengelly ever since she was co-opted to replace DUP stalwart Jimmy Spratt instead of her in the Assembly.

This led to her resignation from the party and decision to run against Little Pengelly as an independent.

Patterson failed to show at the count yesterday.

According to a source, she was "devastated" by her vote tally.

Her campaign manager and fellow flag protester Jamie Bryson said he took responsibility for the defeat.

Both the DUP's candidates in South Belfast - Little Pengelly and Christopher Stalford - secured Assembly seats.

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