Patsy gets support of local branch in leadership bid

PATSY McGlone is a step closer in his bid for the leadership of the SDLP following the unanimous backing from the Ardboe and Ballinderry branch of the party.

The meeting, which was said to be well-attended, saw members back the Mid Ulster MLA alongside his Upper Bann colleague Dolores Kelly in their bids to become leader and deputy leader respectively.

Local councillor Christine McFlynn said the meeting, during which issues including fuel poverty and benefits for older people were also discussed, the members showed their support for the potential leadership team.

She said: “We had a very successful meeting and a wide-ranging discussion during which local party members raised a number of issues which the political representatives will be taking forward.

“The local party is unanimous in our support for Patsy and Dolores to be the new party leadership team.

“We know first-hand that Patsy has the qualities and ability needed to lead this party forward, and we will do everything we can to ensure he is successful in taking on that role.”