Video: NI21 candidate slams party leadership over pre-election ‘meltdown’

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Defeated NI21 candidate in the Threemilewater DEA, Gary Grattan, has slammed the party leadership over “the sorry debacle” which played out less than 48 hours before voters went to the polls.

Mr Grattan said that he and his fellow NI21 candidates felt let down by the party leadership and described the pre-election decision to change the party’s Assembly designation from ‘unionist’ to ‘other’, and the subsequent spat between Basil McCrea and John McCallister, as “a complete disater.”

He said that he and his fellow NI21 candidates had been getting a positive response on the doorsteps, but that the negative publicity just hours before the polls opened left them all with “an uphill struggle to win votes.”

“They (the leadership) had to go and wash all that dirty linen in public two days before their first major election; it was a complete disaster. Where the party goes from now I’ve no idea, but I personally have no confidence in the leadership and I think a lot of my fellow candidates feel the same way,” Mr Grattan said.

The former newspaper journalist, making his first foray into the political arena, polled 369 first preference votes but was excluded after the fifth count.