Political news

John Finucane puts name forward to contest North Belfast

Belfast Lord Mayor John Finucane. Picture by Hugh Russell

BELFAST Lord Mayor John Finucane is to seek the Sinn Féin nomination to contest the North Belfast seat in any upcoming general election.

Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly confirmed that he will nominate Mr Finucane, who was the party's candidate in 2017, ahead of a constituency selection convention on Sunday.

Mr Kelly said the "chaos in Westminster" meant an increased likelihood of an election.

DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds won the seat in 2017 with a majority of just over 2,000.

Sinn Féin also announced yesterday that Foyle MP Elisha McCallion has been selected to defend her seat, which she won narrowly from the SDLP's Mark Durkan in 2017.

“In the last Westminster election, the nationalist people sent a powerful message by turning their back on Westminster and electing seven Sinn Féin MPs, including the historic victory of Elisha McCallion here in Foyle,” Michelle O'Neill said.

Meanwhile, Alliance has selected South Antrim MLA John Blair to run for Westminster in the constituency.

Mr Blair, who has been MLA for the area since replacing David Ford in June 2018, said his party planned to put candidates forward in all of Northern Ireland's 18 constituencies.

"We are the only Remain party who can win in South Antrim, with recent polls showing there is a strong possibility that is exactly what will happen," he said.

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