The DUP is to get an extra councillor, it has emerged, after confirmation that the party will be able to retake the Lisburn council seat which it lost when Jenny Palmer defected to the UUP.
Mrs Palmer – who quit the DUP last year over what she said was its bullying behaviour towards her – was elected as a UUP MLA in Lagan Valley last week, depriving her former party of the seat which had been held by Jonathan Craig.
But, because of legislation to ban double-jobbing, Mrs Palmer has had to relinquish her seat on Lisburn and Castlereagh Council in order to take up her place at Stormont.
And, due to further Stormont legislation which has done away with by-elections for vacant council seats, it will be the party under whose banner she was elected which will be able to replace her on the council.
There is speculation that the DUP could now move Mr Craig – a former Lisburn councillor – back on to the council.