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Ex-MP Michelle Gildernew not selected as Sinn Fein candidate

Published 01/02/2016

Michelle Gildernew
Michelle Gildernew

Michelle Gildernew, the former MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone and agriculture minister at Stormont, will not be a Sinn Fein candidate for the Assembly elections.

She has been replaced on the ticket by current MLA Phil Flanagan.

Ms Gildernew tweeted: "Well done to the successful candidates Phil Flanagan, John Feely and Sean Lynch in tonight's Fermanagh/South Tyrone convention." She wished them the best of luck.

On Sunday, a convention in Enniskillen confirmed the candidates.

A Sinn Fein spokesman said the selections had not been decided as they had to be ratified by the party's ruling council.

Ms Gildernew won the 2010 General Election by the tightest margin in the UK, just four votes.

She lost out to Ulster Unionist Tom Elliott in last year's Westminster poll.

Ms Gildernew, a former Stormont agriculture minister, was once speculated to be considering a move to the neighbouring Mid Ulster constituency.

Last month, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness announced that he is leaving Mid Ulster to seek election in his home constituency of Foyle.

Ms Gildernew tweeted: "Mid Ulster has excellent candidates to replace @M_McGuinness_SF and my heart's in #FST".

She also said that she did not think she would stand as an independent and her de-selection "could be a blessing in disguise!"

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