Belfast Telegraph

UUP's Swann thrown in at deep end after 10 days in job

By Noel McAdam

Just 10 days into office, new Ulster Unionist leader Robin Swann is facing the biggest challenge in politics - a general election.

And he heads up his party's campaign after its performance in last month's Assembly election lead to the leadership becoming vacant, when his predecessor Mike Nesbitt resigned.

Mr Swann will be defending the two Parliamentary seats his party won in the last General Election in 2015 - Fermanagh South Tyrone and South Antrim - when the UUP had a pact with the DUP.

His main electoral rival, DUP leader Arlene Foster yesterday emphasised a surprise general election in June will be a vote for the Union. But Mr Swann in sharp contrast insisted the June 8 poll is about bolstering Britain's position for Brexit.

"This election will be about strengthening the hand of the United Kingdom in forthcoming Brexit negotiations. NI needs strong representation in Westminster now more than ever, arguing the best case for Northern Ireland," he said.

"Tom Elliott and Danny Kinahan have proven that Ulster Unionist MPs can be that positive, pragmatic voice for Northern Ireland. Following the March election I would encourage everyone to ensure they are registered to vote to ensure their voice is heard at the ballot box."

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