Political news

UUP drink-drive councillor Derek Hussey selected to contest election

UUP councillor Derek Hussey. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Brendan Hughes

A UUP deputy mayor who faced calls to stand down over his drink-driving convictions has been re-selected to stand for the party in the forthcoming council elections.

Derek Hussey came under pressure last year over his past convictions after becoming Derry and Strabane council's deputy mayor and chair of the area's Policing and Community Safety Partnership.

Two families whose loved ones were killed by drunk drivers called for his resignation, and he lost a non-binding council vote of no-confidence brought against him in June.

Mr Hussey left his position on the policing partnership, but has continued as deputy mayor.

An investigation against the UUP councillor is continuing following a complaint last year to the council watchdog, the Local Government Commissioner for Standards.

Mr Hussey has three drink-driving convictions. He was given a five-year driving ban and fined £800 in 2016 after pleading guilty, while the previous offences date back to 2011 and 2004.

In a Facebook post, the UUP in West Tyrone announced its candidates for May's council elections, including Mr Hussey for the Derg area of Derry and Strabane council.

The candidates were pictured with Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson and Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA Rosemary Barton.

The UUP did not respond yesterday to requests for a comment.

It comes after the DUP and Alliance Party also selected councillors convicted of drink-driving to stand for re-election.

DUP Antrim and Newtownabbey councillor Thomas Hogg received a drink-driving conviction last year, while Alliance's Patrick Brown – a Newry, Mourne and Down council representative – was convicted in 2017.

Both apologised for their behaviour and were given suspensions by the council standards commissioner.

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