Lagan Valley: DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson issues warning over Johnson's Brexit deal
- Eligible Electorate: 75,735
- Votes polled: 45,589
- Valid votes: 45,405
- Turnout: 60.20%
- Majority: 6,499
Boris Johnson must listen to the voices of people from Northern Ireland about his Brexit deal, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said after he was re-elected as MP for Lagan Valley.
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The DUP stalwart was returned for his seventh consecutive term with a majority of 6,499 over nearest challenger, Sorcha Eastwood of Alliance.
Mr Donaldson said that the DUP recognise that the Prime Minister is likely to have a working majority in parliament and will want to proceed with his deal.
He warned Mr Johnson about the potential damage to the economy and political landscape of Northern Ireland, should he push ahead with his Brexit deal.
“He does have to listen to the voices of people from Northern Ireland and the political parties who have raised concerns about that deal and its potential impact on the economy of NI and our trading relationship with Great Britain which is by far our biggest market,” he said.
“I think the Prime Minister needs to understand fully that if the economy is damaged and undermined that impacts on the political process and creates political instability at a time when we need to be doing the opposite.
“I hope he will listen to what people are saying and that he will address those concerns in the context of taking forward this deal.”
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Despite the DUP losing seats in North and South Belfast, Mr Donaldson said they remain the largest Northern Ireland party in the House of Common.
He also said that his party wanted to “get around the table on Monday with the other political parties and get an agreement to restore Stormont”.
“We remain the largest party in terms of vote share and seats in the House of Commons and we'll continue to represent our constituents,” he said.
“There are big challenges ahead in Parliament, not least on Brexit and this Brexit deal. We want to safeguard Northern Ireland's position and avoid a situation where our economy is damaged by this deal.
“We want to get Stormont back to work because on the doorsteps that was the major issue by far that people were raising with me.”
The turnout in Lagan Valley was 60.2% and Mr Donaldson received 19,586 votes while Alliance saw their votes surge to 13,087.
The UUP’s Robbie Butler, who is also an MLA for the area, came in third with 8,606 votes.
The DUP were in jubilant mood inside the Magherafelt count centre as Carla Lockhart was elected as an MP in Upper Bann immediately after the announcement of Jeffrey Donaldson’s victory.
Loud cheers rang around the large sports hall as clapping DUP members roared on their victorious colleagues.
Mr Donaldson had some consoling words for the other candidates in Lagan Valley as he spoke of his delight at his re-election.
“I am delighted to be re-elected for the seventh consecutive term in parliament to represent the people of Lagan Valley,” he said.
“I want to thank them for placing their confidence in me once again and congratulate the other candidates who fought a very strong campaign and have also done well in this election.”
Mr Donaldson has been in the seat since 1997 when he replaced then-UUP leader Sir James Molyneaux. At that time Mr Donaldson was a member of the Ulster Unionist Party before switching to the DUP in 2004.
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