Northern Ireland news

DUP HQ expected to choose Upper Bann candidate because constituency association doesn't have enough members

Outgoing DUP MP David Simpson has confirmed that he will not stand in next month's General Election. Picture by Mal McCann

DUP headquarters looks likely to choose the party's candidate to contest Upper Bann in the Westminster election after it emerged that the constituency association does not have the necessary number of paid up members.

Sitting MP David Simpson, whose extra-marital affair with a party colleague had been exposed by a Sunday tabloid, announced on Wednesday that he would not be standing again.

The DUP chief executive Timothy Johnston wrote to party members in Upper Bann earlier this week saying that, because there were not 40 paid up members in the constituency, candidate selection would be conducted by "party officers".

The DUP has said it does not comment on internal processes.

Meanwhile, former Labour MP Kate Hoey has dismissed speculation that she may run in Fermanagh and South Tyrone.

It had been suggested in some quarters that the Brexit-supporting former Vauxhall MP would contest the north's most westerly constituency as a united unionist candidate if the UUP's Tom Elliott did not run.

Last night however Ms Hoey told The Irish News that the speculation was "nonsense".

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