Local Election 2019

Veteran Ulster Unionist Chris McGimpsey says he 'doesn't know' his running mate Ben Manton

Veteran Ulster Unionist Chris McGimpsey

A VETERAN Ulster Unionist has admitted he did not know the other party candidate standing in his area of Belfast.

Chris McGimpsey, who has been a councillor for many years, said he disagreed with the UUP's decision to run two candidates for the Lisnasharragh ward of Belfast City Council.

Asked if the decision to run fellow Ulster Unionist Ben Manton had put his seat at risk, Mr McGimpsey told the U105 Phone-In with Frank Mitchell yesterday: "There's no doubt."

"I'm not putting any reasons behind that. I don't know what they were thinking of. I had less than the quota (in the 2014 local election)," he said.

He added: "If the vote splits 50/50 and myself and the other guy gets 0.45 of a quota each well neither of us get in and the Ulster Unionists lose yet another seat in Belfast City Council. We're down to six now."

Votes in the Lisnasharragh ward are not expected to be counted until today.

He said he was "surprised" by the decision to run two candidates.

"We appealed it but the party leadership said no they were determined to run two," he said.

Mr McGimpsey said he did not know his running mate.

"He's a fella called Ben Manton," he said.

"I don't know him. He was in the Conservative party for years and he joined us I think about a year ago so I don't really know the guy, I've spoken to him once I think."

He added: "I'm not going to criticise the chap because I don't know him."

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Local Election 2019

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