“It is obvious this is a big moment in North Antrim. When somebody is an MP for 40 years it is quite a significant event when they decide to stand down,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.
“I must say I am not terribly surprised, he is 83. Perhaps the only surprise is that he didn’t stand down sooner.
“Whatever his achievements in earlier years as a towering parliamentarian, in this Parliament he was not giving North Antrim the voice it needed, turning up for only 18% of the votes.
“For one who once championed traditional unionism — with such colourful pledges as Sinn Fein only getting into government over his dead body — sadly his abiding legacy will be of bequeathing Ulster terrorist-inclusive government. This legacy will inevitably be an issue at the polls.”
Mr Allister said he is confident that he can snatch the staunchly unionist seat from the DUP at the upcoming election.
COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? email@example.com