UUP looking ahead to general election…

TOM Elliott has been unanimously endorsed by the UUP in Fermanagh-South Tyrone as its candidate for the next general election. The local paper noted that the Tory spokesman on NI was present. The seat has often been discussed in terms of a UUP-DUP pact, in which one party would stand aside in F-ST while the other would do the same in South Belfast, in order to get two more unionists in Westminster. But there has also been a suggestion that the UCUNF (UUP/Tory alliance) would stand everywhere, so the move in F-ST is putting it up to the DUP a little, though an election is still miles off. In South Antrim, speculation that UUP leader Reg Empey would stand appears to have been scuppered, with the front-runners now hardline unionist mayor Adrian Watson or old schooler Danny Kinehan. Watson is a protege of former S Antrim MP David Burnside who recently quit politics. I’m not surprised – he’s bound to have his PR hands full with Fred the Shred on his books.