Belfast Telegraph

General Election 2019: DUP's Lockhart is to contest Upper Bann as Simpson stands down

Carla Lockhart
Carla Lockhart

By Our Political Staff

The DUP has named MLA Carla Lockhart as its Upper Bann candidate in next month's general election.

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The sitting MP, local businessman David Simpson, decided to step down following allegations that he had been having an extra-marital affair with a local councillor.

Ms Lockhart (34) is a former Mayor of Craigavon.

She was first elected to the Assembly in 2016.

Born in Aughnacloy, she later studied for a degree in Business Studies at Ulster University.

The MLA has been a strong pro-life advocate throughout her political career and has recently spoken out against the imposition of abortion legislation on Northern Ireland.

An occasional gospel singer, Ms Lockhart comes from a strongly Free Presbyterian family.

Speaking after her candidature was confirmed last night, Ms Lockhart said: "It has been an honour to represent Upper Bann, both as a councillor and an MLA.

"I look forward to asking the people of this constituency for their support to return me as their Member of Parliament.

"My record in the constituency is one of hard work and delivery.

"I will be seeking a mandate to continue this in Westminster where I will work alongside colleagues in Parliament, the Assembly and council to deliver for the benefit of everyone in Upper Bann.

"In the last Parliament, a strong DUP team of MPs were able to deliver over £1.5bn for everyone in Northern Ireland, but with the outcome of this election too close to call there is an opportunity to deliver more for Northern Ireland.

"Our ability to deliver came from every single person who voted DUP at the last election.

"They ensured our schools, hospitals, roads and broadband received extra investment.

"Only the DUP will have the influence and strength to deliver for Northern Ireland."

The DUP has held Upper Bann - once the seat of former UUP leader Lord Trimble - since 2005.

At the 2017 general election Mr Simpson had a 7,992 majority.

DUP leader Arlene Foster MLA welcomed news Ms Lockhart had been selected.

"I am delighted that Carla will be the DUP candidate in Upper Bann at this election," she said.

"Just as the DUP has a record of delivery across Northern Ireland, Carla has a proven record of hard work and delivery for the people of Upper Bann.

"I will be urging voters across Upper Bann to rally behind Carla and elect her to Westminster where she can be part of a strong and united unionist team at Westminster to work for everyone in Northern Ireland."

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