Ulster Unionist Fermanagh candidate pledges no election posters in town centres

The Ulster Unionist candidate in Fermanagh has pledged to not erect election posters in town centres.

Tom Elliott said he made the decision following a plea from traders in Omagh and Strabane ahead of the busy pre-Christmas retail period.

He has urged other election candidates in the Fermanagh South Tyrone constituency to follow suit.

“Last week traders in Omagh and Strabane appealed for politicians to leave the two town centres free of election posters,” he said.

“I think this is a very good idea indeed and, as a result, I will not be erecting any election posters in town centres in Fermanagh South Tyrone.

“This election will be taking place in the run-up to Christmas and town centres will be festooned with Christmas lights and decorations, and it would not be a good idea to have them fighting for space with dozens of election posters.

“I am therefore happy to state that my posters will not be on display in town centres in Fermanagh South Tyrone and it would be beneficial if other candidates were to follow suit.”

Meanwhile, Green Party leader Clare Bailey has announced her party will not run a candidate in North Down.

It comes amid heightened speculation around the constituency after outgoing independent unionist MP Lady Sylvia Hermon said she will not stand in this election.

Lady Hermon had been a pro-Remain voice in the House of Commons.

Ms Bailey said her party is stepping aside to “maximise the pro-Remain vote in North Down”.

“Let’s remember that the majority of people across the constituency voted to Remain and they should have an MP that reflects a pro-European view,” she said.

“I want to see the new MP for North Down follow Lady Sylvia Hermon’s lead in defending our position in the European Union at a time when Brexit threatens our way of life.

“I’d also like to pay tribute to Lady Hermon for her courage and commitment to the people of Northern Ireland when Brexit plunged Westminster into chaos and political rhetoric became so toxic.

“The imperative is for us to Remain and work through the EU institutions to tackle climate breakdown, advance workers’ rights and protect our peace process.”

The Green Party previously announced it was stepping aside in South Belfast in support of the pro-remain SDLP candidate Claire Hanna, as well as in the East, North and West Belfast constituencies.