Political news

SDLP deny asking Peter Quinn to stand as anti-Brexit candidate

The SDLP has denied asking Peter Quinn to stand as an anti-Brexit candidate in Fermanagh and South Tyrone
Connla Young

THE SDLP has denied approaching former GAA president Peter Quinn to stand as an anti-Brexit 'unity' candidate in the Westminster election.

Party figures in Fermanagh and South Tyrone were said to have made contact with the high-profile businessman this week.

Mr Quinn, who is a brother of former billionaire Sean Quinn, served as GAA president from 1991 to 1994 and oversaw the early redevelopment of Croke Park.

A Fermanagh native, his family is steeped in the business and sporting fabric of the border county.

He is also known to be an opponent of Brexit.

Asked by The Impartial Reporter last week about speculation he had been approached to stand on June 8 as an independent anti-Brexit candidate, Mr Quinn said he had "absolutely no interest" in the election.

 

Sources claim an approach was made by the SDLP this week after consultation with elected representatives.

It is not known if the party’s leadership in Belfast was consulted.

However, former SDLP assembly member Richie McPhillips last night denied his party has spoken with Mr Quinn.

“There has been no contact from our party to Peter Quinn at this point in time."

He confirmed that “the SDLP leadership has been trying to get consensus around anti-Brexit candidates”.

Sinn Féin has already selected Michelle Gildernew to challenge unionist MP Tom Elliott for the seat, which she lost by a narrow margin in 2015.

The SDLP has not announced who will stand for the party.

“Peter Quinn’s name comes up all the time and certainly he would fit the bill as an anti-Brexit candidate and he has been vociferous in his opposition to Brexit,” Mr McPhillips said.

However, he denied an approach had been made.

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