Ulster Unionist party leader Empey to step down

Reg Empey said, he would quit as leader of Northern Ireland's Ulster Unionist Party after an election campaign which left the party without a single MP for the first time in more than 100 years.

Ulster Unionist party leader Empey to step down

Reg Empey said on Saturday he would quit as leader of Northern Ireland's Ulster Unionist Party after an election campaign which left the party without a single MP for the first time in more than 100 years.

The party is also to review the electoral link-up forged by Empey with Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party, which prompted its one remaining MP, Sylvia Hermon, to resign and successfully stand as an independent.

"Following a disappointing election campaign I feel the party needs to review its position. This will be undertaken immediately in the form of a consultation chaired by the party deputy chairman," Empey, who remains a minister in the Stormont Assembly, told reporters after a meeting of the party executive.

"I know I have made mistakes. I take full responsibility for this," he said, adding that he would step down in time to allow a new leader to be in place for the party annual conference in the autumn.

Empey said he should take the blame for the electoral melt-down of the once dominant party in Northern Ireland politics which in recent years has been increasingly overshadowed by the Democratic Unionist Party.

In 10 years the UUP has gone from being the fourth largest party in the House of Commons to having no representation.


Reuters

Last Mod: 16 Mayıs 2010, 13:22
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