Mid-Ulster Unity candidate agreed

Nigel Lutton
Nigel Lutton

SON of murdered RUC reservist Frederick Lutton has been selected as the single unionist candidate to contest the Mid-Ulster by-election.

Nigel Lutton will run as the Unity candidate following two separate meetings with the UUP and DUP on Thursday.

Mr Lutton was unanimously endorsed at both constituency associations on Thursday evening.

His father Frederick “Eric” Lutton was killed by the IRA in May 1979.

In 2007, DUP MP David Simpson used parliamentary privilege to name Sinn Fein Westminster candidate Francie Molloy as having been suspected of involvement in the killing.

Mr Molloy has always denied involvement in the RUC reservist’s murder.

Speaking on Thursday evening DUP leader and Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson said the decision would be “welcomed by tens of thousands of unionists in both the Mid-Ulster area and more generally throughout Northern Ireland as a common-sense response to the demands to see unionists co-operating together”.

Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt MLA said he had “listened carefully to the many pro-Union voters in Mid Ulster who were calling for co-operation in this election and for the opportunity to end the long drought that has seen Mid Ulster without representation in the House of Commons for 16 long years”.

The by-election on 7 March was called to replace Martin McGuinness.

Mid-Ulster MLA Francie Molloy was chosen by Sinn Fein to contest the seat, while SDLP MLA for the constituency Patsy McGlone was selected to run for the party in the election.

Independent Unionist William Frazer, the victims campaigner, confirmed last night he would not be running in the race after the agreement of a Unity candidate which he said he fully supports.

Frederick “Eric” Lutton, 40, a former part-time member of the RUC reserve worked as a caretaker for the National Trust.

He was killed as he got out of his car to lock the gates of their premises in Moy, County Tyrone.

No-one has ever faced charges for the killing.