Slugger understands that Mr Hussey has been in a state of uncertainty since the calling of this snap election. The UUP have just released this statement, saying he has…
…advised the party leadership of his intention not to seek re-election to the NI Assembly due to his deteriorating health. He is currently awaiting surgery and accepts that the period of time required to recover from the surgery will be substantial which would make it difficult for him to manage his constituency. He has therefore announced his retirement from politics but stresses his loyalty to the Ulster Unionist Party and wishes his successor and the party every success in the future.
Ross only just squeezed through last time, and he won’t be easily replaced. The DUP were not far off getting two last time, but if there’s any squeeze over RHI, that could be less likely. The news that Sandra Overend next door in Mid Ulster has relatives on the RHI might take the sting out of it.
With the twice weekly AE17(/a) SluggerReport starting tomorrow, I’ll give proper consideration to the various prospects in West Tyrone in due course.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty