Allister under fire from DUP and SF

Jim Allister makes his acceptance speech in Ballymena
Jim Allister makes his acceptance speech in Ballymena

Jim Allister was under political fire from all directions at the North Antrim count.

Having pledged to continue what he termed as ‘the battle against DUP/Sinn Fein misrule’ during the declarations at the Seven Towers Leisure Centre, the TUV leader was soon the target for both his arch enemies.

Mr. Allister, who had been a tail-ender at the last assembly elections, was the first to be elected on this occasion and he noted that the TUV was the only party in the constituency to improve its vote.

However, he had earlier conceded that his own personal success had not been matched by other members of the TUV.

And Mervyn Storey of the DUP was swift to remind Mr. Allister of his statement that he would regard a return to Stormont without a new party colleague as a failure.

“Those were his words,” said Mr. Storey. “We can say that the Unionist people have spoken and given their approval to the DUP under Arlene Foster. I would, at this time, call for Unionist unity.”

Daithi McKay twisted the knife by describing the TUV as a ‘failed project’, noting that Mr. Allister would ‘once again be alone at Stormont’.