Martin Smyth steps down…

Veteran MP and former Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland Martin Smyth is to step down as MP in the next Westminster election. Former Culture Minister Michael McGimpsey has thrown his hat into the ring early. But whoever gains the nomination, it will be a tough fight for the seat with the DUP, and moderate nationalist voters will be squeezed hard behind Alisdair McDonnell’s tough battle against former BelfastMayor Alex Maskey.

A slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works late at night to remove the wrinkles in Slugger’s technical carpet. You will need to know about the comments policy to stay off the fightin’ side of me and there is a bit of background about me here. You can email me using this spam-proof link if you really need to, and Slugger is @sluggerotoole on Twitter. But above all, remember, Play the ball and not the man.