We are in the business of making Northern Ireland work

DUP Leader Rt Hon Gavin Robinson MP was joined by Deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly MLA, Education Minister Paul Givan MLA, Jonathan Buckley MLA, DUP candidate for Lagan Valley and Cllr Tracey Kelly, DUP candidate for South Belfast, at a press conference in DUP Headquarters on Friday afternoon.

By Gavin Robinson Candidate

Belfast East

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Mr Robinson said,

“On July 4th every vote will matter, and every vote will shape the direction of Northern Ireland. People will choose who is best placed to win and deliver the best outcomes for them and their family.

More Democratic Unionist MPs in Westminster will mean more influence and a stronger team for Northern Ireland.

There are those in this election who want to take Northern Ireland in the wrong direction. There are others who want to get elected but will not turn up and do the job, leaving us voiceless.

We fight this election having a track record of speaking up for Northern Ireland in Parliament. We will use the forthcoming campaign to make the case that now more than ever is the time to strengthen the Unionist position – not divide and weaken it.

We are in the business of making Northern Ireland work and will actively promote the case for the Union. As a party with a big team, we are able to work on all the issues that matter both at the Assembly, and in Parliament.

The DUP has the depth of talent to have both a strong Ministerial team in Stormont and field a strong team of candidates for the Westminster election.

The Party has this afternoon selected Jonathan Buckley to be our candidate in Lagan Valley. With the recent changed Lagan Valley boundaries, almost 7,000 voters who were formerly in the Upper Bann constituency, have now moved to the Lagan Valley constituency.

Jonathan has strong links, including through family, to the Lisburn and wider Lagan Valley area.

First elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2017, Jonathan has a proven track for speaking up for his constituents, both in the Assembly and on the ground. Jonathan is an articulate and powerful advocate for the Unionist people across Northern Ireland.

He has all the right attributes to campaign in Lagan Valley and over the course of the next 6 weeks and we will work to win votes throughout Lagan Valley to ensure he is elected as a new generation advocate for its people.

I know there was much speculation as to who would be selected as our candidate in this area and in particular whether one of our Ministers would be candidates at the election.

Emma will continue to provide leadership in the role of Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, focusing on the important work of delivering across a range of areas in the Assembly. I want to thank her for the job that she is doing and by continuing in that role she will be providing Northern Ireland, and the Executive, with continuity and stability in the restored institutions at this time.

Like Emma, Paul has made a significant contribution to our team as Minister for Education and with his experience will continue to work alongside Emma, Gordon and our Junior Minister Pam Cameron at the Assembly to provide Northern Ireland with leadership required.

I am also delighted to be able announce the selection of Belfast City Councillor Tracey Kelly to be our candidate in South Belfast.

Tracey has been a councillor for Botanic since 2019 and demonstrated in Belfast City Hall how she is able to deliver not just for the people of Botanic but for South Belfast.

Our selection processes are almost complete. I look forward to making further announcements on our remaining candidates early next week but I can confirm that all our outgoing Members of Parliament have been selected and will be campaigning for re-election.

As I have previously indicated there are several seats where we believe that with unionist co-operation there would be significant opportunities to return Unionist Members of Parliament. We believe in unionist co-operation and will continue to work actively in the next few days with other unionists to see whether it might be possible to maximise unionist representation. For us we will not be found wanting in playing our part in this respect.

We look forward to taking our message to every part of Northern Ireland over the next six weeks and with a strong blend of youth and experience across our team I look forward to the campaign ahead.”

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