Deselected MLA George Savage won’t run for re-election
Ulster Unionist Upper Bann MLA George Savage will not be standing for re-election to the Assembly next May after being deselected by his constituency association.
Mr Savage, an Assembly Member since 1998, said he was disappointed and knew many others in the area felt similarly, but he would accept the result.
His deselection is a further sign of grassroots change within the party, with another veteran, David McClarty, a deputy speaker in the Assembly, being deselected in East Londonderry.
A number of long-standing UUP Assembly Members, including Robert Coulter (North Antrim), Ken Robinson (East Antrim) and Billy Armstrong (Mid-Ulster), are also stepping down — with more expected to follow.
In Upper Bann, the party’s joint candidate with the Conservatives in the recent General Election Harry Hamilton — better known as a Freddie Mercury impersonator in Queen tribute band Flash Harry — also failed to make the selection list.
Instead the three selected are Colin McCusker, Jo Anne Dobson, who won the Craigavon by-election earlier this year, and sitting MLA Samuel Gardiner.