Ukip’s ex-Northern Ireland chairman Henry Reilly joins TUV

Henry Reilly with TUV leader Jim Allister at Stormont
Henry Reilly with TUV leader Jim Allister at Stormont

Ukip’s former Northern Ireland chairman has joined the Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) less than a week after being expelled from the party.

Henry Reilly, a member of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, was thrown out of Ukip after disciplinary proceedings.

Henry Reilly

Henry Reilly

The TUV, a strident critic of the power-sharing administration in Belfast, also has a strong eurosceptic stance.

Mr Reilly, from Kilkeel in County Down, was Ukip’s candidate in last year’s European elections, in which he received more than 24,000 votes.

He resigned as chairman of Ukip Northern Ireland in August after an apparent dispute with leader and Stormont Assembly member David McNarry.

But, following the visit of party leader Nigel Farage to Belfast in September, Ukip issued a statement saying Mr Reilly had been suspended.

At the time, Mr Reilly claimed action had been taken against him for a “minor technical issue” related to comments he made to the press on the day of Mr Farage’s visit about his resignation as chairman.

Last week Ukip announced the party had decided to expel him from its membership.