TUV leader Jim Allister says the unionist people of Mid-Ulster need a single “anti-Sinn Fein” candidate to run for the constituency’s Westminster seat.
In a swipe at the province’s mainstream parties, Mr Allister said the only way the unionist people of the area could be represented was through a unity candidate not aligned to the Republican party.
He said: “With Crown Steward McGuinness having quit as Mid-Ulster MP, now is the time for a single anti-Sinn Fein candidate to maximise the pro-British vote in the upcoming by-election.
“With both the DUP and UUP aligned to Sinn Fein in government it is unlikely that such a unifying candidate could emerge from their ranks. I am, therefore, calling on both to join TUV in declaring a willingness to secure a unity candidate.
The TUV politician said that with recent events, which he called an “assault” on Britishness, there was never a greater need to display unionist unity.
He said the Mid-Ulster by-election was a prime opportunity for this.
“The recent assault on our Britishness, epitomised by the tearing down of the Union flag from Belfast City Hall, touched a raw but unifying nerve within Unionism,” he said.
Now, is an opportunity to take that forward in a practical fashion in Mid Ulster, directing the energies of all into maximising the pro-Union vote in this cockpit constituency.”