Patsy has no regrets over leadership challenge

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BY LOUISE CONVERY

Mid Ulster MLA Patsy McGlone has said he doesn’t regret standing for the SDLP leadership after losing out to Alisdair McDonnell.

Patsy started off the leadership challenge by announcing in August he would contest the leadership of the party against Margaret Ritchie.

“I set out to achieve change, and it brought about change. I wasn’t the change that came out of it,” he said.

“If I had to do it all over again I would.”

He said he was happy to work with south Belfast MP Alisdair McDonnell as the new leader of the party.

“Aside from him being a ‘get up and go’ leader, we have known each other for years so I will be able to work with him readily,” he said.

Patsy was tipped to do well during the campaign for leadership but the MLA came third choice, south Belfast MLA Conall McDevitt polled above him in second place. Alisdair McDonnell, the surprise winner on the day has said he has given himself three months to turn the party around.

Patsy was keen to thank all his supporters for their help during his campaign.

“I really want to say a big thank you to all the people who have helped me out, an awful lot of people including grassroots activists, their efforts cannot go unrecognised, I can’t thank them all individually, but there were a lot of people behind me who were just superb.

He said his focus would now be on continuing to see changes within the party. He said: “I needed to step up to see change, and that’s happened. We have a lot of work to get on with now within all our constituencies starting right now.”