Northern Ireland news

DUP MP Simpson resigns from Orange Order following affair allegations

Upper Bann MP David Simpson. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press.
Paul Ainsworth

DUP MP David Simpson has resigned from the Orange Order following allegations said to have resulted in the breakdown of his marriage.

The Upper Bann MP reportedly left the Order after 30 years of membership following reports of an affair with colleague and Portadown DUP councillor Louise Templeton.

Mr Simpson, who has held the Upper Bann Westminster seat since 2005, has been an Orangeman for over 30 years and was deputy district master of Loughgall Orange Lodge in Co Armagh.

Resigning from the Order brings to an end his position of worshipful master of the Houses of Parliament Orange Lodge, as well as his membership of the Royal Black Preceptory, which requires Orange Order membership as a prerequisite of joining.

Mr Simpson, a father-of-three, reportedly left his family home earlier this year when allegations of the affair surfaced.

Ms Templeton had been a longstanding colleague of the MP, working as a parliamentary assistant following his election to Westminster, and working for him before that when he was a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

She was co-opted to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council in 2017.

A spokesman for the Orange Order said they would not be making any comment on Mr Simpson’s position in the organisation.

The Irish News contacted the DUP for a comment on the matter, but did not receive a reply.

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