Three candidates set to nominate themselves for NI seats in Europe

The final candidates for Northern Ireland’s three seats in the European Parliament are set to nominate themselves later.

Hours before nominations close, outgoing MEP Martina Anderson (Sinn Fein) will submit her papers in Belfast.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood and TUV leader Jim Allister are also expected to submit their nominations on Thursday.

Fianna Fail Ard Fheis 2019
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood will contest the European elections (PA)

Next month’s poll comes as the UK Government remains unable to agree a deal to leave the European Union.

UK voters electing a fresh batch of MEPs this year had not been planned after the nation voted in 2016 to leave the trading bloc.

However, elections to the European Parliament are proceeding after London and European Council agreed to delay Brexit.

Northern Ireland’s three seats in Brussels have historically been divided between the DUP, Sinn Fein and the Ulster Unionists.

Diane Dodds to stand in European elections
DUP leader Arlene Foster speaks to media with DUP MEP candidate Diane Dodds (Michael McHugh/PA)

Ms Anderson and outgoing DUP MEP Diane Dodds will run again, while veteran Ulster Unionist Jim Nicholson is stepping aside after decades in the European Parliament.

Voters in the UK will go to the polls next month on May 23.

The candidates running for Northern Ireland’s three seats in the European Parliament are Sinn Fein’s Martina Anderson, the DUP’s Diane Dodds, Danny Kennedy (Ulster Unionist Party), Colum Eastwood (SDLP), Naomi Long (Alliance) and Jim Allister (TUV).

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