Published Sunday, 17 October 2010
Brian Ervine, the brother of the late David Ervine, formally took over from interim leader John Kyle at the party conference on Saturday.
Ms Purvis resigned both her leadership and membership of the PUP following the murder of Bobby Moffett by the UVF on the Shankill Road in May.
A number of party members also resigned in the wake of the killing, including senior member Dugald McCullough.
The Independent Monitoring Commission described the killing as a public execution sanctioned by the UVF leadership.
Last month, PUP members voted to maintain their links with the UVF and the Red Hand Commando at a meeting in Belfast.
Mr Ervine says he is optimistic about the electoral future of the PUP.
"I am not so much against Dawn as for the Progressive Unionist Party. I'll be standing not to thwart Dawn but to retain the seat for the PUP against whoever is there," he explained.
Mr Ervine also told UTV he is confident he will not always be compared to his late brother, David, who played a significant role during the peace process.
"I was happy to take a back seat because he did a wonderful job", Brian Ervine said of his brother.
"He produced fruits and they blossomed."
"I'm not attempting to be Ireland's second David Ervine; I'm Ireland's first Brian Ervine."