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Flag protester abandons European poll campaign

Published 01/04/2014

Connla Young

LOYALIST flag protester Jamie Bryson has pulled out this year's European election campaign just weeks after launching an online funding drive which raised just £165.

The community activist, from Bangor in Co Down, said he was withdrawing from the race amid speculation that the TUV's Jim Allister is considering standing while Newry and Mourne councillor Henry Reilly has confirmed he will stand for the UK Independence Party.

Last month Mr Bryson urged members of the public to make donations through the Go Fund Me website in a bid to raise £5,000 to help cover the costs of his European and local election campaigns.

However, by last night he hadraised just £165 from the site.

Earlier the 23-year-old claimed to have raised cash by auctioning off a signed Glasgow Rangers top and football.

Mr Bryson last night admitted that both Mr Allister and Mr Reilly stood a better chance "of reaching the required quota" in the Europe an elections.

He also conceded raising the cash is a "big ask for any individual without a party behind them".

"It must be noted that I am only one individual, therefore the challenge of raising funds is much more difficult," he said.

The flag campaigner said any money already raised will go towards his campaign to be elected to North Down and Ards Borough Council next month.

"The money raised so far will go towards my local council campaign," he said.

"If anyone wishes to look at the recorded list of donations they may do so," he said.

"A list of expenses will also be submitted to the Electoral Commission, as per requirements, following the completion of the election."