New UUP recruit Ryan McCready earmarked as party's Foyle candidate in Stormont election
THE DERRY councillor who has joined the Ulster Unionists after resigning from the DUP last month has been earmarked as his new party's assembly candidate in Foyle.
Ryan McCready was among a number of disaffected DUP elected representatives who quit the party in the aftermath of Arlene Foster's ousting.
The 35-year-old former soldier was elected to Derry City and Strabane District Council in 2019.
Mr McCready said he was happy to be joining the Ulster Unionists under the leadership of Doug Beattie.
He said it was more important than ever that unionism had a "modern, confident and positive leadership".
“I have not taken this decision lightly, as politics is not the most attractive thing to get involved in for many reasons, but it would be uncharacteristic of me not to answer the call and to put my head above the parapet once again," he said of the decision to switch allegiance from the DUP.
Mr Beattie said his party's latest high-profile recruit shared the party's vision of an "inclusive, progressive, confident unionism".
"He is exactly the sort of articulate, forward thinking person that Northern Ireland needs in the assembly," the Upper Bann MLA said.
"He is an impressive person and a superb public representative who has excelled in his career to date."
There has been speculation that Mr McCready, who represents the Faughan district electoral area, will stand in West Tyrone in next year's Stormont election. However, an Ulster Unionist source insisted he would be contesting the Foyle seat and running against his former party colleague Gary Middleton.