DUP Westminster candidate Ian McCrea has taken a parting shot at the failure to find an election pact for Mid Ulster.
Mr McCrea who polled 5,465 votes compared with 6,318 votes for his UUP rival Sandra Overend, said he would not hide his disappointment.
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“The DUP’s mission in this election was to win this seat for unionism and to deliver real representation for the people of Mid Ulster,” he said.
“We make no apology for wanting a unity candidate and I will not hide my disappointment that whilst some of us in the unionist family were working towards that goal others were campaigning in the interests of self-promotion.
“Regardless of others actions my team and I have sought to deliver an honest, positive campaign and the responses we received on the doors have been encouraging in our mission to keep Mid Ulster moving forward.”
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He added: “My thanks go to Cllr. James Shiels who acted as my election agent, and my strong team of local Unionists who came out each night after a day’s work to help me canvass the towns, villages and hamlets across Mid Ulster. Also my wife Wanita, our wonderful children and all my friends and family for all their love and support.
Regardless of others actions my team and I have sought to deliver an honest, positive campaign
“Most importantly, thanks goes to Almighty God for his strength and guidance during this campaign.”