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Shock as UUP’s public relations chief resigns

The UUP has sustained a new blow with the dramatic resignation of its most senior public affairs official.

Alex Kane, who is also a veteran political pundit, quit as the party’s director of communications yesterday after less than two years in the post.

Mr Kane, who has a regular column in the News Letter and was a commentator on the BBC Northern Ireland Hearts and Minds programme, was saying nothing about the circumstances of his sudden departure. And the party also insisted it would be making “absolutely no comment”.

There was speculation, however, that Mr Kane became disgruntled over not being kept fully informed about the party’s recent separate talks with the DUP — first at the invitation of the Orange Order in December and then under the chairmanship of the Conservatives in England.

In his latest column yesterday Mr Kane made clear he would reject any realignment of unionist which embraced the DUP. “I have never voted DUP and I will never vote DUP,” he wrote.

His party said: “The UUP regards this as an internal staffing matter and will not be making any comment on the issue. The UUP takes the opportunity to thank Mr Kane for all his work as communications director.”

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