DUP 'nastiness' and 'dark corners' not for UUP as party begin search for Steve Aiken successor
The Chairman of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), Danny Kennedy, has said the party will select a new leader without invoking what he described as "nastiness" used by the DUP to oust incumbent leader and First Minister, Arlene Foster.
Mr. Kennedy, who lost his seat in the Assembly in 2017, also knocked Sinn Fein for publicly requesting two of its own MLAs in Foyle, Martina Anderson and Karen Mullan, both consider their positions.
“Not for us the nastiness of leadership changes carried out in dark corners like the DUP removing Arlene Foster, who frankly was deserving of better," said Mr. Kennedy.
“Nor indeed replicating what Sinn Fein did in their purge in Foyle.”
Mr. Kennedy's comments came only minutes after Steve Aiken, MLA, officially announced his decision to resign as leader of the UUP.
UUP MLA for Upper Bann, Doug Beattie and UUP MLA for Lagan Valley, Robbie Butler, have both been tipped as possible successors.
Mr. Butler refused to comment on the speculation linking him with the leadership of the UUP.
Instead, Mr. Butler used the opportunity to pay tribute to outgoing leader, Mr. Aiken.
Mr. Beattie said the idea of becoming the new UUP leader would be something he seriously consider.
“I will think about whether it would be right for me to stand. I will take soundings if the party want me to be leader, and if they want to be led by me, and I will make a decision," he said.
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers — and consequently the revenue we receive — we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.
Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.
Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.