Former DUP MLA Ian McCrea has broken his silence on what he has dubbed “a campaign of misinformation” against him, saying this is not the last of the “McCrea era in politics”.
“Those on the doors that told the people of Mid Ulster that Keith was Arlene Foster’s choice and not me were deliberately speaking untruths,” he said.
“I fought a clean and honourable campaign as a true DUP man and can return to the electorate holding my head up high.
“Can I state however that I am deeply hurt for my office staff, Anne Forde and Johnny Chartres whose work for my Mid Ulster constituents have been professional and faithful.
“They will always be in my debt but I trust that in the future the electorate will reward them.
“It was an honour and privilege to serve the people of Mid Ulster for the past nine years,” he went on.
“I did so with dignity and integrity and was delighted that the majority of DUP votes were given to me in the Assembly Election.
“I am disappointed that because of TUV transfers I did not retain my seat however I wish to thank all those who placed their confidence in me and since the result was announced I have been inundated with endless calls of support. I promise I will not turn my back on these supporters but will return again to continue the work of faithful representation.
“Those who have suggested that the McCrea era in politics has come to an end will be sadly disappointed and in for quite a surprise. Effective representation is much more than a photo shoot but hard graft, working on bread and butter issues that impact upon people’s lives.
“Having set the record straight, I wish Keith all the best for his term in office.”
The DUP office in Magherafelt has now closed after McCrea lost his seat to fresh face Keith Buchanan during the weekend’s election results.
Asked whether the office in Magherafelt would remain in place, his advisor and DUP councillor Anne Forde, said it would be down to Stormont and new DUP MLA Keith Buchanan, who may choose to locate himself elsewhere.
But she did say “the office is closed (and) he’ll (Mr McCrea) get so long to pay staff off”.