Rathcoole community worker Phil Hamilton has parted company with the Progressive Unionist Party.
It’s understood he formally submitted his resignation to party officials on Tuesday, May 21.
Mr Hamilton described rumours on social networking sites that he’d been expelled from the organisation as “absolute nonsense”, saying that he’d “thought long and hard” before making the decision to leave the party.
The former soldier, who has been subjected to a number of death threats over the past few years, said it was time for him to move on.
“There have been some great times and there have been some very dark times over the years, and it’s put me under a lot of stress at times, but it was time for me to think about my future,” he said.
“There have been rumours that I’ve been expelled from the party, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m leaving on good terms and I’m a bit sad to be going. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but I think it’s the right one for the party and for me and my family.”
Wishing the PUP well for the future, Mr Hamilton thanked party officers and members, particularly Ken Wilkinson and Hugh Frampton, for their support over the years and stressed that he has no plans at present to join any other political party.
He said that he will continue to work within the local community with the Rathcoole Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership and other organisations.