Jim Wells resigns from DUP after 46 years

Veteran DUP consultant Jim Wells has resigned from the occasion after 46 years.

Mr Wells, a former well being minister, advised the BBC Nolan Show he couldn’t help the Democratic Unionist Party’s candidate in South Down for the Assembly elections, Diane Forsythe.

Mr Wells as a substitute declared his help for a candidate from the rival Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) within the Stormont elections.

He mentioned: “I’ve determined I can’t help the candidate that the occasion govt has imposed on the folks of South Down and I’ve resigned from the occasion.

“I feel that the second I mentioned that I’d not be backing the candidate that was imposed upon us, it was inevitable.

“I took the choice late final evening to contact the occasion chief, the occasion secretary and the chief govt and allow them to know that after 46 years I’ve gone as a DUP member.

“I feel very strongly about this.”

Mr Wells, who has been the DUP’s Assembly consultant in South Down since 1998, has known as on voters to present their first desire to Harold McKee of the TUV on May fifth.

The DUP responded by stating the election was about greater than “mere personalities”.

Mr Wells came upon earlier this 12 months he had not been chosen because the occasion’s candidate for the South Down constituency after Ms Forsythe was chosen because the candidate.

Mr Wells had been vocal in his opposition to Ms Forsythe because the candidate, and as a substitute backed a failed bid by former DUP chief Edwin Poots to change into the occasion’s candidate within the space.

He has posed in election pictures with Mr McKee and TUV chief Jim Allister.

‘Core principles’

Mr Wells mentioned: “As I depart the Assembly it’s my earnest want that South Down ought to proceed to have a Unionist MLA whose politics are grounded in conviction and precept.

“Among the candidates Harold McKee is the stand-out candidate with these credentials.

“He holds expensive lots of the core rules that I upheld in Stormont and is broadly and correctly revered as a politician of conviction, not expediency.

“Accordingly, I recommend him to those who faithfully supported me at the polls over the years and urge them to vote McKee 1.”

Mr McKee mentioned Mr Wells had been “abandoned by his own party”.

He added: “I am delighted to have his support and gratified that a broad swathe of unionism is uniting behind me as the standard bearer of principled unionism.”

TUV chief Jim Allister mentioned: “At important occasions in Stormont, Jim Wells was usually the one MLA ready to hitch me in doing what was proper.

“In December 2020 we have been the one MLAs to talk and vote towards 45 EU rules important to bedding within the iniquitous [Northern Ireland] protocol.

“Putting party advantage before principle would have been easy, but Jim did the right thing and likewise today in backing Harold he is putting principle before party.”

A DUP spokesperson mentioned: “This election is rather more necessary than mere personalities. The seat totals after the depend will resolve whether or not NI goes in the best or fallacious path and our priorities for the subsequent 5 years.

“Diane Forsythe secured the DUP’s greatest ever lead to South Down in 2017.

“She is a young mother, rooted in the Mournes with a plan for South Down. Diane will focus on what matters to people.” – PA

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