Ulster Unionist MP Sylvia Hermon has said she has no plans to walk away from North Down.
In her first interview since announcing she would not sign up to the Ulster Conservative and Unionist project, she said her constituents had been loyal to her and she intended to be loyal to them.
North Down is the only seat the Ulster Unionists currently hold at Westminster but now it is the missing piece in UCUNF’s line-up of candidates ahead of the General election, expected in May. Lady Hermon has been against the Tory-UUP alliance since it was first discussed and is understood to be angry at leader Sir Reg Empey for agreeing to it.
“I am not a Tory, I am not going to stand under the Tory/Ulster Unionist banner. It is as simple as that,” she told the BBC Politics Show yesterday.
She said she wanted to repay the support she had received from her constituents when her husband Sir Jack Hermon, former Chief Constable, died around 18 months ago.
“When I say I love this constituency I really love this constituency,” she said. “It was my constituents who gave me a light at the end of a very dark tunnel after Jack died and I intend to continue to serve this constituency in some capacity.
“I just have to, as Jack would have advised, you just have to take time to think. It is not my intention to walk away from North Down. They have been very loyal to me and I want to return that loyalty to them.”