Doug Beattie: I’m backing Steve Aiken for UUP leadership
Upper Bann MLA Doug Beattie has ruled himself out of the race to succeed Robin Swann as Ulster Unionist leader.
In a statement issued on Tuesday evening on social media, Mr Beattie instead endorsed Steve Aiken as Mr Swann’s successor.
He said: “The Ulster Unionist Party must remain vigilant in the face of Brexit as well as a possible General Election and I believe a leadership contest would be a distraction in this compressed political environment.
“Therefore I do not intend to stand for the leadership of the Ulster Unionist Party but to endorse Steve Aiken OBE MLA for the party leadership. He will, if duly elected, have the authority to bring the party onto a more progressive path both internally and externally and he will have my 100% support and loyalty.”
Mr Aiken has been MLA for South Antrim since 2016.