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DUP silent on House of Lords rejection

The DUP's William McCrea alongside Nigel Dodds and Peter Robinson

The DUP has refused to reveal the identity of the party member who was refused a peerage by a Westminster watchdog.

The Irish News reported yesterday that the House of Lords Appointments Commission rejected the DUP nominee, along with five Conservatives and one Liberal Democrat as they were deemed unsuitable to take a seat in the upper chamber.

The name of the DUP nominee remains confidential but there has been widespread speculation that former South Antrim MP William McCrea was the name put forward.

Mr McCrea lost his seat at May's general election.

On Thursday night the veteran politician told The Irish News he was not aware of any nomination.

"I haven't heard of it," he said. "I really haven't a clue."

Parties have the chance to replace rejected candidates with substitutes but the DUP did not seek a replacement.

DUP sources have indicated that Mr McCrea, who was among DUP delegates who met Secretary of State Theresa Villiers on Thursday, will be nominated for the House of Lords in the next round of nominations.

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