UUP Councillor wants to follow in father’s footsteps

FAMOUSLY one of the most fiercely contested constituencies in UK elections, when the people of Fermanagh South Tyrone (FST) go to the polls in a general election later this year there will at least one fresh new face on the ballot – Cllr Diana Armstrong.

With current MP Michelle Gildernew recently announcing her intention to run in Europe this year, there is also a high chance of a new Sinn Féin candidate vying for Westminster this year too.

While there has been no confirmation of who will replace Ms Gildrenew yet, the UUP has already confirmed Cllr Armstrong as their selection for the always hotly contest FST seat.


It may be her first time running for Westminster, but as the daughter of former UUP leader, Stormont Agriculture Minister, and MP Harry West, Cllr Armstrong is no stranger to national politics. It is a legacy that has prepared her well for the bruising world of national politics.

“Certainly as a family in politics, I knew the commitment that is required,” she told the Herald. “I knew the long hours, the long distances.

“When I think back, my father travelled the same road that Tom Elliott and Rosemary Barton travelled to Stormont. Those roads were not good, and it was very hard, but he came home to his family and seven children.”

She added, “I have no illusions, I know you need to be resilient. I know you need to need to be on your toes in the job and be at grassroots level. The people your are representing are so, so important.”

“Agriculture is really steeped in me and is something I would wish to preserve and fight for,” she said, acknowledging the strain local farm families are currently under, and stressing the high quality of our local agri-produce.”

As a strong supporter of the Save Our Acute Services campaign, Cllr Armstrong said she would also be fighting for SWAH surgery and services. Paying tribute to our local health and care staff, she said it was “widely acknowledged what a fantastic place this area is to live in” and more needed to be done to attract the skilled surgeons we need.

Cllr Armstrong also recognised the poor state of local infrastructure, stating it was “an absolute disgrace” the Enniskillen bypass was yet to progress, and noting the knock-on impact difficulties getting goods to port had on our local industries.


Above all, she said she wanted to provide a voice for the people of the area in Westminster, and to lobby the Treasury directly for the investment that is needed here.

“One of my most important roles there is to raise the awareness of what Fermanagh South Tyrone is,” she said, stating it was a chance to have local voices from all sides of the community heard in Westminster.

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