UUP confirm Danny Kennedy to stand in EU elections
The UUP has confirmed former Stormont minister Danny Kennedy will stand for the party in the upcoming EU elections.
Mr Kennedy, who served nearly 20 years as an MLA for Newry and Armagh before losing his seat in the 2017 election, sought the nomination after UUP MEP Jim Nicholson revealed he would not be running again after almost 30 years in the role.
Mr Kennedy said: “I am delighted and honoured to be the prospective candidate for the Ulster Unionist Party.
"I am a lifelong unionist committed to strengthening the Union between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
"I believe I have the drive and commitment to offer leadership at this challenging time for Northern Ireland and our nation as a whole. I look forward to the campaign."
Mr Kennedy, who previously spoke out about his struggle readjusting to private life after so long in politics, said the Brexit referendum result "must be respected and implemented"..
“Like many people I am angry that Brexit has been so badly handled and uncertainty has increased," he said.
"I will offer a constructive approach to Brexit. Let us do Brexit right and end the uncertainty.
“I'm from a border community. I am a border unionist and I know exactly what all this means.
"There are those who claim to represent people who voted remain but they haven`t represented unionists who voted remain in the last two years and they won't do so in the future. Unionists who voted to remain in the EU did not vote to leave the United Kingdom."
Alliance leader Naomi Long, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood, Green Party leader Clare Bailey and incumbents the DUP's Diane Dodds and Sinn Fein's Martina Anderson are also standing in the May 23 poll.
Belfast Telegraph Digital