UKIP’s membership in Northern Ireland has trebled since former UUP MLA David McNarry joined last year, the party has claimed.
On Thursday night the anti-EU party held its AGM in Belfast and the meeting was told that membership had soared from 80 to 247 since the party secured its first MLA in Mr McNarry last October.
The meeting elected Mr McNarry as its Northern Ireland leader, with UKIP’s other elected representative in Northern Ireland, Kilkeel councillor Henry Reilly, being re-elected as its chairman in the Province.
The meeting also elected Alan Love as vice-chairman, Barbara Trotter secretary and Alan Lewis treasurer. The meeting was also told that UKIP – which has been riding the crest of a wave in England in recent months – has seen its national membership rise to 27,860.
The party’s deputy leader, Paul Nuttall, addressed the AGM.
Mr Nuttall, an MEP for North West England, has visited Northern Ireland several times in recent years as the party has built its support base.
Most recently, he attended the TUV conference in November, calling for a TUV-UKIP pact in next year’s European election.