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Second TUV candidate put on North Antrim ticket

By Suzanne Breen

The TUV has decided to run two candidates in North Antrim after receiving a strong response while canvassing.

Leader Jim Allister was initially the only candidate the party put forward to contest the constituency in the March 2 poll.

But after what the TUV described as a "warm reception" on doorsteps, Mr Allister is to be joined by Timothy Gaston, who sits on Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

At last May's election, North Antrim returned three DUP, one UUP and one Sinn Fein MLA, along with Mr Allister.

While Mr Allister polled strongly, councillor Gaston was eliminated on the sixth count.

With the change from six to five-sea constituencies, the TUV initially decided only Mr Allister would run.

However, the party leader explained: "As our canvass got under way it became clear there is such disquiet over the shambles at Stormont and that the TUV's distinctive message is resonating more than ever with the voters.

"The widespread recognition that Stormont is a mess and that voting for the same parties again will only produce more of the same is convincing a growing number of voters that their voice will be best heard through the TUV."

He added he was delighted to be joined by councillor Gaston, whose "poll-topping performance in Bannside and prodigious work record strengthens our ticket".

Mr Allister stressed that the public had the opportunity to vote for real change.

"The TUV has long proclaimed this Stormont system was unsustainable and would inevitably implode," he said. "

"TUV's vision of voluntary coalition as the only workable form of devolution is more apt than ever. Unless and until that can be achieved, British ministers should form the Executive, but be fully accountable to the local Assembly.

"We cant go on lurching from crisis to crisis. Our people need government. What they have had is a dysfunctional mess, crowned now by the scandal and squander of RHI. Voting for more of the same is not an option."

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