Councillor quits after “late night” incident…

THE News Letter reports that David Archer Jnr has resigned as an Ulster Unionist councillor “and quit his party’s election campaign amid an inquiry into an alleged incident at a council office was launched”.The report continued:

David Archer Jnr last night withdrew his candidacy in the local government elections and left his position on Lisburn City Council.

A source said there was an investigation under way into “a latenight incident”.

The council said it had received a report from its security firm ” regarding the use of the (council) Members’ Room at Lagan Valley Island”.

Mr Archer issued a statement but made no reference to any incident or a security report.

Councillor Archer (Jnr) said in a statement he had to make a choice between politics and business:

“Working in politics has been an intensely fulfilling and rewarding experience for me but it also a fickle and, on occasion, dirty business to be involved in,” he said.

“I have no time for the type of dirty tricks and innuendo that have characterised this election campaign to date and trust that they will end.”

I suspect that David Archer Jnr is in for a very hard time over the next few days in Lagan Valley. This is a real blow for an already-weakened UUP campaign.

‘The Hawk’ said on this site recently that Mr Archer works at Michael McGimpsey’s Sandy Row office, so perhaps that explains why Mr McGimpsey told the Belfast Telegraph last night: “It’s another one of the DUP’s dirty tricks. No doubt we will see more of them to come but I’m sure the electorate will treat them with the contempt they deserve.”

However, Archer is best known for branding his Sinn Fein colleagues “Fenian bastards” at a civic reception. He also boycotted council sessions where the opening prayer was led by a Catholic priest.

Combined with today’s news about Michael Copeland – by coincidence, today being the day the UUP launches its manifesto (is it still happening?) – no wonder the Ulster Unionists are feeling very paranoid. A weakened UUP would pave the way for the DUP for a generation, and the timing seems just a little too good.

Mind you, a lot of people are starting to see similarities between David Trimble and John Major’s disastrous election campaign of ’97…

I hate to say it, but it’s not just David Trimble – the whole UUP is a busted flush. The party’s over.

{Given the nature of the story, I would ask commentators to bear in mind that defamatory comments will be removed and the user could be banned.)

And anyone know what this is all about?