Belfast Telegraph

Little Pengelly raps UUP over South Belfast seat bid

Candidate: Councillor Michael Henderson
Candidate: Councillor Michael Henderson
Mark Edwards

By Mark Edwards

A DUP election candidate has said she is disappointed that the UUP is running a candidate in her constituency, potentially splitting the unionist vote.

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Emma Little Pengelly is defending a 1,996-vote majority in South Belfast.

At the weekend Michael Henderson was selected as the Ulster Unionist election candidate for the area.

Mr Henderson represents Castlereagh South on Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council.

The move could improve the chances of the SDLP's Claire Hanna or Alliance's Paula Bradshaw taking the seat.

Sinn Fein opted against putting a candidate forward in South Belfast after the SDLP declined to stand in North Belfast.

Green Party leader Clare Bailey also decided against standing candidates in Belfast to boost the chances of pro-Remain politicians being elected.

Ms Pengelly said it was "very disappointing to hear UUP are running a candidate in South Belfast". She continued: "So many unionists, across all party views, have contacted me to express strong feelings on this.

"Can I appeal to all to remain stoic and calm despite this decision - no matter how strongly the views, please do nothing that could damage the cause or our campaign to hold this seat for the Union.

"We need all and every vote.

"Let us focus on uniting unionists behind the unionist cause that can win this seat, and let's do so with the positivity, love and strength that unites us."

The UUP was contacted about its decision to run in the South Belfast constituency.

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