EX-UUP councillor Raymond Farrell has officially joined the DUP, two months after his plans to return to the party were first revealed by this newspaper.
The presence of the well-known local councillor at the DUP’s spring conference in Limavady in March fuelled speculation that he would formally join the party in the very near future. Mr Farrell was seated next to party leader Arlene Foster at the event in what was seen as his biggest endorsement yet by the DUP. Added to that was his public pledge of support for the party’s recent Assembly election campaign in this constituency.
Cllr Farrell’s support was acknowledged by Mrs Foster at the time: “I am delighted that Raymond has travelled from Fermanagh to be with us. I am even more delighted that Raymond is fully supporting the DUP election campaign in Fermanagh and South Tyrone. Thank you Councillor Farrell, and we look forward to having your support”.
Cllr Farrell quit the UUP last October, citing party leader Mike Nesbitt’s stance on gay marriage as the key reason behind his decision. At the time he was contacted by DUP members but also received support from other Unionist parties and individual Nationalist party members.
The Ballinamallard man joined the UUP in 2010, replacing Tom Elliott on Fermanagh District Council.
For more on this story see Wednesday’s Fermanagh Herald.
Posted: 9:15 am May 31, 2016