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Robin Swann to step down as leader of Ulster Unionists

Swann will remain in the role until the party’s next annual general meeting in 2020.

Robin Swann took over the UUP in 2017.
Robin Swann took over the UUP in 2017.
Image: Brian Lawless/PA Archive/PA Images

ULSTER UNIONIST PARTY leader Robin Swann has announced that he will step down from the role. 

Swann, who has led the party since 2017, said that he would not be putting forward his name as a leadership candidate at the party’s next annual general meeting in spring 2020.

He said he had been reflecting for a number of months on his position and wanted to spend more time with his family. 

Describing it as an “honour and a privilege” to lead the Ulster Unionist Party, Swann said that it was “more important than ever for the Ulster Unionist Party to fight back to help secure and strengthen support for the union”. 

In a statement, Swann thanked party members for their support and said he would remain an MLA for North Antrim. 

The Ulster Unionist Party has faced a difficult few years and has found itself outflanked by the DUP, especially on issues like Brexit. It currently has no MPs and lost 13 councillors during the local elections in May. 

Swann’s predecessor Mike Nesbitt stepped down as leader after disappointing results in the March 2017 assembly election. 

In May, Swann told the BBC that he was considering resigning after the party lost its seat in the European parliament. 

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