Easton calls for unionst convention

Former DUP MLA Alex Easton has called for an urgent convention of unionism to be organised.

Mr Easton, who stood in the 2017 election as a DUP candidate, topped the poll as an independent candidate in North Down with 9,568 votes.

He said: “This election has been very difficult for unionism. It needs to do something before it is far too late.”

He appealed to DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, UUP leader Doug Beattie, and TUV leader Jim Allister to set up a unionist convention to urgently chart a way forward.

Andrew Muir from the Alliance Party, who received 6,838 first preference votes, was the second candidate to be elected.

He said he was “ecstatic to have been elected to continue to serve the people of North Down as an Alliance Party MLA”.

He added: “I’m absolutely delighted that the people of North Down have elected me and my party colleague Connie Egan.

“The election was a very positive outcome for the Alliance Party.

“We stood on a platform of progressive politics. We need to get the Executive restored.

“There were two clear priorities heard during this election. They were rebuilding our health service and tackling the cost of living”.

Stephen Dunne from the DUP, whose father Gordon Dunne previously held the seat in North Down, was also elected, along with Alan Chambers from the Ulster Unionist Party.

Mr Dunne said: “I hope to build upon the work of the DUP. We have a long record of service in this great constituency. We want to deliver for the people of North Down and Northern Ireland. ”

Chris Carter, Independent; Therese McCartney, Sinn Féin; Matthew Robinson, Conservative and Unionist Party; Deirdre Maria Vaughan, SDLP; John Gordon, TUV; Jennifer Gilmour, Ulster Unionist Party; and Rachel Woods, Green Party NI, were all eliminated. – PA

Elected: Alex Easton (Independent), Andrew Muir (Alliance), Stephen Dunne (DUP), Alan Chambers (UUP) Connie Egan (Alliance)

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