Young UUP councillor quits party which says he's '˜unlikely to be missed'

A young Ulster Unionist councillor has resigned from the party amid rumours that he is to join the DUP.

Wednesday, 26th October 2016, 2:46 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th October 2016, 5:31 pm
Aaron Callan, right, campaigning with Mike Nesbitt in Limavady

Aaron Callan, who was elected as a UUP councillor in Limavady two years ago after polling 452 first preference votes.

The UUP released a statement at lunch time today, confirming that Mr Callan had resigned.

In a terse riposte, the UUP said: “We have built our success in recent years on teamwork. On that basis Councillor Callan is unlikely to be missed.”

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Mr Callan could not be contacted.

A spokesman for the DUP – which is to hold its annual conference this weekend – told the News Letter that at present Mr Callan is not a member of the party.

However, BBC Radio Foyle journalist Dean McLaughlin said that Mr Callan had confirmed to the BBC that he would join the DUP.

Earlier this year, Mr Callan was one of many UUP members to publicly come out in favour of Brexit, despite leader Mike Nesbitt arguing for a Remain vote in the EU Referendum.

Ahead of May’s Assembly election, in which he was a candidate in East Londonderry, Mr Callan responded to a survey by feminists seeking to .

In relation to abortion in cases of sexual crime, he told the group: “As a man, I can’t put myself in this situation. It would be a very difficult circumstance to be put in but ultimately women should have the right to decide what to do.”

Addressing the UUP conference three years ago, Mr Callan said he was “proud to say I am an Ulster Unionist”.

On his LinkedIn profile, Mr Callan describes himself as “an adaptable and ambitious graduate”.