| 8.4°C Belfast

Why some unionists aren't toeing the party line


The DUP's Alex Easton

The DUP's Alex Easton

The DUP's Alex Easton

There may be no official election pact - but some unionists are still supporting candidates from other parties.

One former Ulster Unionist MLA has backed the DUP's candidate in North Down against his party's policy of supporting independent incumbent Lady Hermon.

DUP standard-bearer Alex Easton yesterday welcomed the support of Ian Adamson. The former Lord Mayor of Belfast also signed Mr Easton's nomination papers and said it was "a time for new thinking in North Down".

The UUP has opted out of running in North Down in favour of Lady Hermon, a previous party member.

Mr Adamson said: "I have seen the tremendous work Alex Easton has put into our communities in North Down."

Less controversially, TUV leader Jim Allister has been campaigning for the UUP's Tom Elliott in Fermanagh and South Tyrone. The DUP is also giving Mr Elliott a free run in a constituency where the difference between the Sinn Fein vote and unionism was down to a single digit in a recent election.

"It doesn't get any tighter," Mr Allister said.

Describing Mr Elliott as the agreed unionist candidate, Mr Allister said the choice in Fermanagh and South Tyrone was "stark and clear - between a unionist who will take the seat and fight for his constituents or Sinn Fein which abstains and refuses to accept its seats".

"To my mind it is a clear choice, and I want to do my bit to advance Tom's success," he added.

Belfast Telegraph