Ex-Ukip councillor Henry Reilly now with TUV
Recriminations have raged on after a former Ukip councillor confirmed he is joining Jim Allister's Traditional Unionist Voice.
South Down councillor Henry Reilly - who is also a former Ulster Unionist - said he had asked to be expelled from Ukip after becoming disillusioned with the party.
But Ukip NI leader David McNarry said Mr Reilly had been a "disruptive one-man-band, unhappy with everyone and everything".
Announcing the new recruit in Parliament Buildings yesterday, Mr Allister said Mr Reilly "fits exactly into the TUV profile".
"Henry is both a proven, staunch traditional unionist and a Eurosceptic. I welcome him as a considerable asset to the party," he said.
The Newry, Mourne and Down District Council member, who is from Kilkeel, was Ukip's candidate in last year's European elections and received more than 24,000 votes. But he resigned as Ukip chairman in August after an apparent dispute with Mr McNarry, and following a visit to the province by Ukip's UK leader Nigel Farage to Northern Ireland, Mr Reilly was suspended.
Then, following a disciplinary meeting last week, Ukip said the decision had been taken to expel him from their membership.
Mr Reilly yesterday referred to TUV as his "natural home" and hinted he will be the party's candidate for a seat in South Down in the next Assembly election.