A local DUP councillor sent messages of support to suspended party member Jonathan Bell as he announced that he is to stand as an independent in the upcoming Assembly election.
Antrim and Newtownabbey DUP councillor, Ald Pamela Barr, has expressed backing for Mr Bell’s candidacy in the Strangford constituency.
Commenting on Mr Bell’s campaign Facebook page, Ald Barr said: “Supporting you 100%”.
The outgoing Strangford MLA, Mr Bell, broke party ranks in December to publicly speak out about the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme.
He claimed that attempts had been made to keep the flawed scheme open for longer, with a rush of applications coming during this time.
DUP leader, Arlene Foster has denied these claims, with the party faithful showing unwavering public support for the Fermanagh-born party leader.
Mr Bell announced on Tuesday, February 7 that he is to stand as an independent in the Stormont election on March 2.
Releasing a statement on social media, he alleged: “Political life here has been corrupted by spin and deceit. The Cash for Ash scandal has disgusted people. That’s why I believe it is Time for Truth.
“The people want integrity and not the scheming of the big party machines. The people want honesty and not the ducking and diving of political spin doctors. Time for Truth is what I stand for.
“We need to set the tone for a more honest politics, a more accountable politics and a more open and transparent public life.
“The judge-led public inquiry I called for into Cash for Ash will, I hope, mark the end of shady dealings and the beginning of a new era of open accountability in which there is no hiding place for those who abuse public funds. Time for Truth.”
It is understood that Ald Barr is a relation of Mr Bell’s.
The Times attempted to contact Pamela Barr on Tuesday, February 7, but did not receive a response at the time of going to press.