Northern Ireland news

DUP MP David Simpson resigns as director of family firm

DUP MP David Simpson has resigned as a director of the company he founded. Picture by Mal McCann

A DUP MP has resigned as a director of the company he founded with his wife more than 30 years ago.

David Simpson's departure from the boardroom of Portadown-based Universal Meat Company comes in the wake of publicity surrounding his affair with a party colleague.

In June last year the Upper Bann MP resigned from the Orange Order when details of his relationship with DUP councillor Louise Templeton emerged.

Ms Templeton had been a long-standing colleague of Mr Simpson's, working as a parliamentary assistant following his election to Westminster, and working for him before that when he was a member of the Stormont assembly.

After the pair's affair became public last year she sent a letter to her party colleagues on Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council offering "sincerest apologies for the inappropriate actions I was involved in".

According to documents recently lodged with Companies House, the MP resigned from Universal Meat in February last year, the Sunday Life reported.

Mr Simpson, who was first elected to Westminster in 2005 when he unseated former Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble, had been an Orangeman for over 30 years and was deputy district master of Loughgall Orange Lodge in Co Armagh.

The 59-year-old father-of-three reportedly left his family home after allegations of the affair surfaced.

His wife Elaine remains a director of the company.

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