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Jim Allister to contest Assembly election

By David Gordon

Traditional Unionist Voice leader Jim Allister has confirmed that he will be contesting next year's Assembly election.

The former DUP MEP suffered a major setback in this year's General Election losing heavily in North Antrim and seeing his party perform poorly elsewhere.

But he has pledged to contest next May's Assembly poll to further his opposition to the power-sharing set-up at Stormont.

“I think there is a bedrock of people who have not bought in to terrorists in government and all the things which are wrong with the present failings of the system at Stormont,” he told the BBC.

Mr Allister left the DUP in 2007 in opposition to its devolution deal with Sinn Fein. He formed the TUV which initially caused problems for his old party, taking votes in the Dromore council by-election in 2008 and the European Election the following year.

But his showpiece General Election battle with the DUP's Ian Paisley Jnr in North Antrim saw him defeated by 19,672 votes to 7,114. That tally of over 7,000 votes would put him in the frame for a MLA’s seat in the constituency.

The DUP’s Arlene Foster said: “Few will be surprised by Jim Allister's decision to split the unionist vote. Whilst I understand the difficulties people have with SF in government, no-one has come forward with a better strategy.”

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