Buchanan’s election agent refutes claims of ‘untruths’ saying McCrea ‘hurt’ following defeat

Mid Ulster's new DUP MLA, Keith Buchanan, with his election agent Cllr Paul McLean
Mid Ulster's new DUP MLA, Keith Buchanan, with his election agent Cllr Paul McLean

The election agent for the DUP candidate that won Ian McCrea’s seat in the assembly elections, has denied any wrongdoing on the doors, saying claims of “untruths” were made because Mr McCrea is “hurt” and “disappointed”.

The Mail reported yesterday that defeated DUP MLA Ian McCrea had hit out at “a campaign of misinformation” against him.

He said: “Those on the doors that told the people of Mid Ulster that Keith (Buchanan) was Arlene Foster’s choice and not me were deliberately speaking untruths.

“I fought a clean and honourable campaign as a true DUP man and can return to the electorate holding my head up high.

“Those who have suggested that the McCrea era in politics has come to an end will be sadly disappointed.”

Councillor Paul McLean, who leads the DUP delegation at Mid Ulster Council and headed up new MLA Keith Buchanan’s campaign, was asked about the remarks by our sister paper, the Newsletter.

And although initially reluctant to comment, he said it was “not the way it was done”.

He said the DUP had distributed literature carrying the names of both men.

The McCrea team carried leaflets which listed his name first, while the Buchanan team did the same with their leaflets.

“That was the only difference,” said Mr McLean.

He stressed that he was “not going to get involved in a tit-for-tat” about the issue, adding: “I’m sure that as a sitting MLA losing his seat there, that there is a hurt and there’s disappointment and therefore there will be things that might be said that, in the round of the thing, might not be said. I’m not going to get into that.”

It was put to him that it looks like a civil war of sorts was in the offing in the Mid Ulster party, to which he said: “It’s not a civil war. It’s definitely not. There’s an opportunity for choice – and people have the right to choose.”