UUP replaces councillor who joined DUP just weeks before retiring

UUP leader Robin Swann with new Antrim councillor Robert Foster and council group leader Mark Cosgrove
Brendan Hughes

THE UUP has appointed a new councillor to succeed a former mayor who defected to the DUP just weeks before announcing his retirement.

Robert Foster will replace John Scott as a representative on Antrim and Newtownabbey council.

Mr Scott announced in December he was stepping down from politics for health reasons less than two weeks after joining the DUP.

The Ulster Unionists have chosen his replacement because he was elected as a UUP representative.

Mr Scott quit the UUP in September after claiming the party had failed to address concerns over a colleague "not pulling his weight", and joined the DUP in November at its annual conference.

Just days after joining the DUP, Mr Scott had voiced his support for abortion reform and same-sex marriage, which the party remains opposed to.

Mr Foster, a former Stormont election candidate, gave his best wishes to Mr Scott on his retirement from the council, describing him as a "personal friend".

The UUP councillor said he was looking forward to his new role and "bringing the Ulster Unionist Party team in Antrim and Newtownabbey back up to its full complement again".

UUP leader Robin Swann said: "Having known Robert for a number of years I know that he will be a dedicated, conscientious public representative."

He added: "I would also like to take the opportunity to thank John Scott for his years of service whilst an Ulster Unionist councillor and I wish John and his family sincere best wishes for the future."

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