Ruth Patterson announces intention to leave politics after election defeat

Independant Unionist Candidate Ruth Patterson at her East Belfast Home

Independant Unionist Candidate Ruth Patterson at her East Belfast Home

Independent Belfast City Councillor Ruth Patterson has told of her intention to leave politics following the disappointing election defeat in South Belfast.

In a statement which she issued on Saturday night she said after her Assembly election defeat she does not intend to “serve beyond the completion of the current Belfast City Council mandate and I, at this point, have no intention of seeking a further mandate beyond that”.

The former DUP representative had been hoping to knock her former party comrade Emma Little Pengelly out of the running in the election.

But she only secured 475 first preference votes compared to her rival’s 4,511.

In her statement, she said: “I wish to extend my thanks to those who came out to vote for me on Thursday.

“Naturally I am bitterly disappointed by the decision of the electorate, but the people have spoken and I accept their decision without reservation.

“I have indicated to friends and family that I certainly do not intend to serve beyond the completion of the current Belfast City Council mandate and I, at this point, have no intention of seeking a further mandate beyond that.

“I want to thank those who worked incredibly hard for me during the election, from the volunteers who helped with leaflets and posters to my campaign manager.

“I extend my congratulations to the successful candidates and wish them well for their Assembly term.

“I will be taking some time to reflect and spend time with my children and grandchildren and therefore I will be making no further comment in relation to the election.”