Over two years ago I asked a senior Republican who he’d like to see leading the UUP. “Reg Empey”, he replied without hesitation. Reg certainly made an impact as minister of Trade and Entreprise amongst republicans with his frequent visits and public championing of economic regeneration projects across Nationalist and Unionist areas. It’s of no surprise then that Mairtin O Muilleoir, veteran of that one time bear pit that is the Belfast City Council chamber, reckons Empey has the character and determination to turn things round for the UUP.
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