Outsiders involved in own mini-race to Westminster

Aman Singh Bhogal
Aman Singh Bhogal

The Upper Bann Westminster Election is a poll of two halves – the four representing the main parties, and a quartet that enters the fray simply to carry their party’s banner.

The most unusual is blue-turbaned, blue-suited Sikh, Aman Singh Bhogal (Conservative), who hails originally from the Punjab, who lives in Kent. He feels his message against sectarianism is relevant, using the example of sectarian conflict in his native Punjab.

Alliance’s Peter Lavery will probably poll best of the four – he is well-thought-of within the party and has firm local connections. He espouses the party’s cross-community ethos and polled well at last year’s ABC Council election in the Lurgan DEA.

Damien Harte (Workers Party) typifies the sincere, if unsuccessful, attempts of his party the break the Orange-Green mould in Upper Bann. An executive director of a Lurgan-based interest company, he describes himself as “an active campaigner for local democracy”.

Finally, Martin Kelly of CISTA (Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol) is one of those offbeat candidates which UK politics intend to throw up occasionally. Little has been seen of him on the hustings.