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Former DUP councillor Charlie Tosh switches to the UUP

A former DUP councillor has joined the ranks of the Ulster Unionist Party.

Independent Castlereagh councillor Charlie Tosh quit the DUP three years ago over his opposition to power-sharing at Stormont after 20 years in the party.

He said images of then leader and First Minister Ian Paisley with Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness laughing together made him ill.

A disagreement with another DUP member was said to have been the last straw for Mr Tosh, who has been a businessman for more than 35 years.

He also voiced support for the movement which led to the formation of Jim Allister's Traditional Unionist Voice but is not a member.

Mr Tosh said he had decided the UUP was the party which can deliver. “I have been impressed by the way Tom Elliott has conducted himself since becoming leader of the Ulster Unionist Party and have decided that it is the party which can best deliver for the people of Castlereagh East,” he added.

UUP leader Tom Elliott said: “I am delighted to welcome Charlie Tosh to the ranks of the Ulster Unionist Party. Charlie is well-known to the people of Castlereagh East and will be an asset to the UUP as we gear up for next year's Council and Assembly Elections.”

And Michael Henderson, the UUP group leader on the council, added: “Charlie is well-known to the people of the Dundonald, Ballybeen and Tullycarnet areas as a hard worker who has always had the interests of the ratepayer at heart. I am delighted he has chosen to join the Ulster Unionist Party and look forward to working with him on council.”

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