UK news Beattie and Butler set to join race for UUP’s top job last news
PremierLeague-News.Com - Veteran Doug Beattie and one of the Ulster Unionists’ youngest MLAs Robbie Butler are set to go head to head in a bid to lead to the party into next year’s elections.
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! "Veteran Doug Beattie and one of the Ulster Unionists’ youngest MLAs Robbie Butler are set to go head to head in a bid to lead to the party into next year’s elections. Both men are expected to announce their interest in the top post on Monday when current leader Steve Aiken officially resigns from the job.Party sources say that unlike the DUP there will be no gagging order on prospective UUP leadership candidates speaking to the media.Front runner Mr Beattie is expected to be the first to declare his interest in the position after Mr Aiken, who has been leader of the party since November 2019, announced his resignation.Former leader Mike Nesbitt, who was being named as a potential return candidate, is believed to have ruled himself out and is backing the former soldier’s leadership bid.Current Health Minister Robin Swann, who has seen his popularity rating rise during the Covid pandemic, is also thought to have ruled out a comeback.However, 55-year-old retired army captain Beattie could face a younger challenger in the form of Lagan Valley MLA Robbie Butler. Seen as a future leader of the party, Mr Butler is also expected to announce he will run for the top job on Monday afternoon.With both a UUP and DUP leadership challenge taking place in the same month, sources say unionism is in a major transition.Party sources say there is an urgent need to restructure the UUP ahead of the Northern Ireland Assembly elections due to take place next May.Unlike the DUP, which moved against Arlene Foster with a letter of no confidence, broadsiding the First Minister who is said to be still smarting from the nature of the move against her, the UUP leadership is expected to be a much more amicable affair.
News source = PremierLeague-News.Com
.Neither Mr Beattie nor Mr Butler wanted to comment on Sunday, both saying they wanted to allow their current leader the courtesy of resigning first.Upper Bann MLA Mr Beattie remains the favourite to take the top post.A member of the Assembly`s Justice Committee, he spent 34 years in the army holding the rank of captain and earning a Military Cross.He was recruited to the UUP under Mike Nesbitt’s leadership.While he was reluctant to put his name forward, he is said to have been encouraged by other party members, including Mr Nesbitt, to take on the job of trying to reverse the party’s electoral decline.Popular with the party’s Stormont and council teams, he will also need to convince the UUP members who get a vote in the leadership election. A senior UUP source said: “The biggest issue is do the UUP want to be led? There is no point changing leaders for the members to continually resist any changes or decisions made by that leadership.“There’s no point electing a new leader to act as figurehead.“The difference with the UUP is that there will be no gagging order, anyone who stands for leadership will be out there making their case and answering hard questions.”"
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Source = PremierLeague-News.Com