John Kyle joins UUP two months after leaving PUP

 John Kyle (right) and UUP leader Doug Beattie (left)
 John Kyle (right) and UUP leader Doug Beattie (left)

John Kyle has announced he is joining the Ulster Unionist Party, two months after leaving the PUP.

The Belfast councillor said he was "impressed with the direction" in which leader Doug Beattie was taking the party.

Mr Kyle left the Progressive Unionist Party last December over a difference in opinions on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The long serving councillor said he was "pleased" to be joining the UUP.

"I have been impressed with the direction in which Doug has been taking the party with a brand of positive, forward looking, inclusive unionism.

"That’s exactly what unionism should be."

Mr Beattie said the newest addition to the party was "an impressive man of the utmost integrity" who is respected "right across the community and wider society".

"He is a committed unionist who is dedicated to promoting Northern Ireland, its people and its place within the United Kingdom."

Mr Beattie said Mr Kyle had a "level-headed approach to politics" which he described as "refreshing".

Mr Kyle left the PUP after having said in a BBC interview that the protocol provided "significant opportunities" for Northern Ireland.

It was not the view of the party.