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NI politician Jim Wells resigns from DUP after 46 years

The former NI health minister told the BBC Nolan Show that he could not support the DUP’s Assembly candidate in South Down.

File image of Jim Wells earlier this year.
File image of Jim Wells earlier this year.
Image: PA

JIM WELLS HAS resigned from the DUP in what he called an “inevitable” move after endorsing a constituency candidate for a different party in the upcoming Northern Ireland Assembly election.

The MLA for South Down has been a DUP member for 46 years. He is not running in the Assembly election next month. 

The former NI health minister told the BBC Nolan Show that he could not support the DUP’s election candidate in South Down, Diane Forsythe.

He said: “I have now resigned from the party after 46 years.

“I have decided I cannot support the candidate that the party executive has imposed on the people of South Down and I have resigned from the party.

I think that the moment I said that I would not be backing the candidate that was imposed upon us, it was inevitable.

“I took the decision late last night to contact the party leader, the party secretary and the chief executive and let them know that after 46 years I have gone as a DUP member.

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“I feel very strongly about this.”

The Belfast Telegraph had reported that Wells made the decision to support the Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) candidate Harold McKee instead of the DUP’s Forsythe. 

Additional reporting by Orla Dwyer.

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