Ian Paisley jnr to fight for his father’s old seat
The DUP has unanimously selected Ian Paisley junior as its candidate to fight for North Antrim in the forthcoming Westminster election.
As expected, at a meeting in Ballymena last night, the son of the former party leader and ex First Minister, who announced his retirement last week, was uncontested in his bid to inherit his father’s seat in May.
Speaking just seconds after the decision was made, Mr Paisley told the Belfast Telegraph he was “very pleased” about the decision and was “looking forward to fighting the election battle”.
He added that he was “very confident” of retaining the seat for the DUP.
His words are a nod to the fact that the seat will be hotly contested, mainly by Traditional Unionist Voice leader Jim Allister, who left the DUP to form the TUV in 2007 and who said he intends to stand against his old party in May.
DUP founding father Ian Paisley senior (83) was at his son’s side to congratulate him last night, a week after he announced he would be giving up the North Antrim seat he first won in 1970.