Northern Ireland news

Doug Beattie facing UUP rebellion in West Tyrone over 'import' of assembly candidate Ian Marshall

Former UUP MLA Derek Hussey. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

DOUG Beattie is facing rebellion in West Tyrone over his efforts to "import" former Seanad member Ian Marshall as the Ulster Unionists' assembly candidate.

Former MLA Derek Hussey accused his party leader of being "dictatorial" and said another candidate, Andy McKane, was unanimously chosen.

The UUP has said the row is an internal matter and would be treated as such.

Mr Hussey, who was a West Tyrone MLA from for nine years up to 2007, said: "In all conscience I cannot support this dictatorial approach that has been taken towards my long time friends and colleagues of the West Tyrone Ulster Unionist constituency association and urge a reversal of the current leadership decision otherwise we face the potential of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory".

In a separate statement, Mr McKane denied his opposition to Mr Marshall was down to sour grapes, calling the decision "disappointing".

"This is not about my ego – it is about West Tyrone Ulster Unionism and giving us the best chance of winning a seat back," he said.

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