UUP conference: Jenny Palmer might stand for Assembly

Former DUP councillor Jenny Palmer has said that she would stand in next year’s Assembly election if asked to do so by the UUP.

Speaking to the News Letter on Saturday at her first UUP conference since rejoining the party earlier this year alongside her councillor husband John, the Lisburn representative said that a lot of her constituents had “praised her” for moving to the UUP and said that they would not be voting DUP again.

Jenny Palmer at the UUP conference on Saturday

Jenny Palmer at the UUP conference on Saturday

She said that she had “only ever had one negative comment”.

When asked if she would be interested in standing for the Assembly next year, Mrs Palmer said: “Obviously, I’m as ambitious as anyone else, and I would like to be a part of changing Northern Ireland as we go forward.

“But I’m only into the party and that will be a decision for the party leader. Certainly, I think that if I’m asked, I would grasp the opportunity.”

Mrs Palmer also criticised Peter Robinson’s recent decision to promote the special adviser (Spad) Stephen Brimstone, who she alleged had put pressure on her, something which he denied, though he said that he could not remember many details of what had happened.

She said there had to be “some form of punishment” for those Spads who have “behaved badly”.

“To give this man privileges after he was found to have acted inappropriately is totally wrong. We need to put in place, in government, accountability and good government around all of those issues.”