Ex-Ukip man Joe Jordan jumps ship for Ulster Unionists
A leading businessman has become the latest recruit to the Ulster Unionist Party.
However, there was no immediate indication that Joe Jordan, an ex-president of the Belfast Chamber of Commerce, will be running for office. Mr Jordan was head of the chamber when it represented businesses during the flag protests in 2012.
Leader Mike Nesbitt hailed the signing up of a new high-profile member as another sign of recovery for the party, which has pulled its sole minister out of the Stormont Executive.
He indicated that Mr Jordan, a former member of Ukip, could have a role in helping draw up his planned alternative blueprint to govern Northern Ireland expected in the new year.
"We have attracted elected representatives and former candidates from the DUP, NI21 and Ukip, which indicates we have a vision that is finding favour right across the pro-Union community," Mr Nesbitt added.
Mr Jordan polled 2,237 votes in the Strangford constituency last year - Ukip NI leader David McNarry's stronghold - coming ahead of Conservative candidate Johnny Andrews and within 100 votes of the SDLP's Joe Boyle.
Mr Jordan said yesterday: "By engaging directly with the business community on a more frequent basis I'll be able to feed their practical ideas - for both the present and future - into the centre of politics."
He added: "It will be a challenge, but it's one that I'm looking forward to."