Less than two weeks ago Northern Ireland's voters went to the polls in a local government election to our 11 councils. Given some of the commentary surrounding those results, it will no doubt come as a surprise to many people that the Ulster Unionist Party received over 95,000 first preference votes, elected 75 councillors, is the third largest party of local government and is represented in every council chamber.
Last Monday's attack on the innocent people of Manchester demonstrated the cruelty of terrorism. It was a stark manifestation of the hatred our enemies have for our way of life and the free and democratic society which we hold dear.
On Saturday I was honoured and humbled to be ratified as the 16th leader of the Ulster Unionist Party - the only local party of modern and confident unionism, and the only party that has ever represented the form of positive unionism that I readily identify with.
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