Independent unionist ‘gentleman’ MLA David McClarty dies

Coleraine man and MLA for East Londonderry constituency, David McClarty has died, aged 63. An independent unionist MLA since 2011 when he successfully fought off competition from the two candidates selected by UCUNF, he had previously been a member of the UUP and a served as a UUP MLA between 1998 and 2010. By not rejoining the UUP group after the May 2011 election, the UUP lost the opportunity for a second Executive seat (which went to Alliance). He served …

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Question master Jim Allister? And should David McClarty be more like him?

The TUV’s sole MLA Jim Allister has been getting a reputation for running a one-man opposition/scrutiny function up at Stormont. Martina Purdy summed up well the exchange in the Assembly chamber on 13 September between TUV leader Jim Allister, Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure Carál Ní Chuilín, and Assembly Speaker William Hay: When Culture Minister Caral Ni Chuilin told the chamber, whimsically, that she and Mr Allister were “firm friends,” he accused her of misleading the house. Mr Allister …

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McClarty to stay independent

Former UUP MLA, David McClarty, now elected to the NI Assembly as an independent MLA, has just confirmed on UTV Live that he will not be joining the UUP Assembly group. That decision means the UUP will only get one ministerial position and the final, tenth, position on the NI Executive to be distributed under d’Hondt will go to the Alliance Party. Pete Baker

At least now, the UUP’s blinkers will probably come off

The last time a major Unionist party was lead by anyone from west of Portadown it was Harry West in in 1970’s. That was not a happy period of the UUP’s history. The sense of ‘otherness’ that exists amongst border Unionists is well known, researched and documented. It is not a fictional notion dreamed up to further an argument, it is fair to say they are a different sort of Unionist. It is for that reason that the queston “does …

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David Ford on d’Hondt: “I don’t think it’s a particularly proportional system.”

BBC NI political editor, Mark Devenport, calculates that the Alliance Party are in prime position to pick up the tenth, and final, ministerial position to be distributed under d’Hondt.  Now that “the government” have been re-elected… The NI Justice Ministry comes later – and may only be a temporary appointment.  From Mark Devenport Steven Agnew’s last gasp victory for the Greens leaves Alliance on 8 seats – exactly half the Ulster Unionist total of 16. Under the D’Hondt system the UUP gets …

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Tom Elliott can he lead?

Tom Elliot became a surprising story of the election with his outburst in Omagh and he is destined to be at the centre of things throughout the coming days. With his party achieving 16 seats and Alliance 8 as things stand the UUP will lose a ministry. That is unless he can tempt party reject David McClarty back into the fold. Though as Mark Devenport notes the Alliance party could then try to cook up a counter deal with Steven …

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