Northern Ireland news

NI Conservatives fielding just one candidate in May Assembly election

Matthew Robinson is standing in North Down

THE Northern Ireland Conservatives are to run just one candidate in the forthcoming Assembly election.

Matthew Robinson, who is the party's chairman, is standing in North Down .

This compares to five years ago when the party fielded 13 candidates.

It comes just weeks after Gary Hynds, who was the NI Conservatives candidate in Lagan Valley, quit the party in protest over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Now running as an independent in the May poll, he accused his former party of being "incredibly out of touch".

Alan Dunlop, the former party chair, also quit six months ago and has claimed that local Tories were almost "an extinct species".

But the party's sole candidate Mr Robinson, who in the Westminster constituency election in 2019 picked up almost 2,000 votes, has urged people to back the party as "your first choice for change".

He said that he wants to be the "pragmatic, pro-business, liberal voice that it so lacking in our politics".

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Northern Ireland news