Kinahan backs Nesbitt in UUP leadership contest

South Antrim MLA Danny Kinahan has given his backing to Mike Nesbitt in the battle to replace Tom Elliott as the next leader of the Ulster Unionist Party.

Mr Kinahan said he was confident that the former television news reader and Strangford MLA would take “a proactive approach to invigorating the party while maintaining its traditional values.”

“Those who know me are well aware of my views on unity and loyalty and know that I will stand fully behind any democratically elected party boss. However, I strongly believe that Mike Nesbitt, ably assisted by a purposeful and forward looking team at the top, can galvanise all quarters of our broad church.

“My decision to support Mike is borne out of a keen sense that the Ulster Unionist Party needs to present itself to a new cohort of voters in a way that is fresh and relevant. I thought long and hard about which candidate best reflects my hopes for the future.”

Mr Kinahan, who serves as Assembly Private Secretary to DRD Minister Danny Kennedy, added: “A change is coming to Unionist politics in Northern Ireland. I am delighted to be part of that and proud to support Mike Nesbitt in his bid to help shape the future - for all of us.”