Former MP to contest council election

A former Ulster Unionist MP is set to stand in next year’s council election.

Danny Kinahan, who lost his Westminster seat in June 2017, has been selected by the UUP to fight for a seat on Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

Danny Kinahan.

Danny Kinahan.

Speaking to the Newtownabbey Times, Mr Kinahan said: “I’m going to be standing in the Ballyclare DEA. I would have loved to have been standing in Templepatrick or Antrim, but Ballyclare has been part of my patch as MP and I’m keen to get back in.

“I want to help the town, help business improve and helping residents with all their issues. I’ll still have to learn. I’ll be a new boy from a certain point of view.

“Councils have changed since I was in council and I’ll have to learn my way through the system. I’ll hopefully be able to use the experience that I have got.”

Asked whether he has missed political life since losing his Westminster seat, the former South Antrim MP added: “I’ve certainly found it a very odd year, not to have any role. I’ve found that very frustrating and I want to get back in and helping people.

“I won’t be the only candidate, there will be other candidates there. I want to get Ulster Unionism back in, making a difference and improving this place.

“I’m keen to get back into it. I’ll have to refocus because the job will be Ballyclare and the council and looking really to all the issues that they need resolved there, but I’ll still want to help out with the whole of the patch.”

Mr Kinahan confirmed that he will be joined on the ballot paper in Ballyclare by party colleagues Cllr Vera McWilliam and Cllr Jim Bingham.