Labour party activist calls off his hunger strike

Labour activist Matt Beeching has called off his hunger strike

A LABOUR activist has called off his hunger strike, a week after saying he wanted to put pressure on the party to allow candidates to stand for election in Northern Ireland.

Matt Beeching, who lives in Portadown, Co Armagh, began his hunger strike on July 17 and said he would "refuse to eat any food solids, of any kind", until such time as his "demands have been met in full".

A secretary of the Upper Bann Branch of the Labour Party in NI, he said he was taking the drastic action to "force DUP/SF to form the NI executive and kick start NI assembly".

But in a statement last night, Mr Beeching said he had "decided to end my hunger protest after visiting the doctor".

"I was informed of a condition that could bring my life to an early end if I should carry on, so carrying on, on that basis seemed not to have any benefit at all," he said.

"It was also based on family opinions and issues.

"I want to make it clear once again that the decision to carry out this protest was my decision alone and I did not consult anyone from Labour Party Northern Ireland or Labour Party," he said.

"Nor did anyone suggest or encourage me to such action."

Mr Beeching added: "This protest is now over but the fight for the right for Labour Party members in Northern Ireland to stand as candidates is far from over, I am more determined than ever".

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