Tonight’s council meeting in Craigavon seems to have been an extremely confused affair with, I am told, difficulties surrounding whether abstentions count as opposing a co-option. However, the end result seems to be that a by election for Lurgan ward is inevitable after the TUV’s candidate failed to get a seconder. The TUV’s Ivor McConnell has issued a statement which I will reproduce below: the reaction of the other parties is awaited.
“TUV deplores the fact that tonight the DUP and UUP have forced a by-election in Craigavon, which will cost the ratepayers tens of thousands of pounds. This TUV vacancy ought to have been filled by a TUV co-option, but the DUP welched on its agreement not to oppose a TUV co-option by proposing their own candidate. Our good faith in not forcing a by-election in Ballymoney has been shamelessly exploited. Sadly, even in local government it seems the DUP is not to be trusted.
“The ratepayers of Lurgan can still be saved much of this unnecessary expense by the other Unionist parties not nominating candidates. Indeed David Simpson and Stephen Moutray both pledged in August that they would recommend to the DUP that they should not fight a by-election, if one was forced. We’ll see what value attaches to that undertaking in the coming weeks.”