Advocates of unionist unity candidate ‘stuck in the past’

MID-ULSTER Westminster candidate Francie Molloy has said those advocating a unionist unity candidate are ‘stuck in the past’.

The Sinn Fein man, who was selected to run for the MP role, was speaking after calls from DUP Magherafelt Council Chair Paul McLean, and the TUV’s Jim Allister.

It is understood talks are still ongoing between the DUP and Ulster Unionists Party on whether such a candidate could be put forward.

Speaking after the MAIL reported calls for a unity representative for the by-election, set for early Spring, Mr Molloy said: “Sinn Féin are too busy working for all the people of Mid Ulster, to be distracted by this notion of a unionist unity candidate.

“The proponents of this are stuck in the past and solely obsessed with blocking Sinn Féin.”

He added: “We are committed to delivering on our forward looking and progressive programme of change.”

Francie Molloy was selected to run by the party after Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness resgined from the Mid-Ulster MP post, which he held for 15 years.

He was given an English aristocratic title, Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead, by cancellor George Osborne following his official resignation as a UK Member of Parliament.

Sinn Fein dismissed the tradition as “antiquated and ridiculous”.