Diane Dodds to run for DUP in Europe

Diane Dodds to run for DUP in Europe

Peter Robinson has confirmed that the DUP only intends to field one candidate, Diane Dodds, in the forthcoming European elections.

In a speech on Friday evening, the party leader said that current MEP Ms Dodds would be seeking re-election - adding that the DUP had been strongly considering a second candidate but decided not to split the unionist vote.Mr Robinson explained: "In recent months we have been considering our approach to the European elections. We have had an important and constructive debate about whether to run one or two candidates."For many, it has been finely balanced with strong cases put on both sides."There are those who make the case that we have nothing to lose by running two candidates and everything to gain."However, he added: "It is because of the importance of maintaining the maximum unionist representation in Europe that the DUP officers will be recommending that the party field only one candidate."After handing in her nomination papers at a later date, Ms Dodds said that her focus in Europe would be on putting Northern Ireland first."I will always stand up for Northern Ireland," she said."Over the last number of years, I have been working across the province seeking opportunities to increase the funding available for businesses, faith-based organisations and community groups."The election will take place on 22 May.CHAR(13) + CHAR(10)European Election CandidatesAlliance Party - Anna LoDUP - Diane DoddsGreen Party - Ross BrownNI21 - Tina McKenzieNI Conservatives - Mark BrotherstonSDLP - Alex AttwoodSinn Féin - Martina AndersonTUV - Jim AllisterUKIP - Henry ReillyUUP - Jim Nicholson

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