N. Ireland Politics

Danny Kennedy rules himself out of UUP leadership race

Sir Reg
Image caption Sir Reg Empey said he would stand down in the autumn

It is understood that the Ulster Unionist deputy leader has decided not to seek the leadership of his party.

According to well placed sources Danny Kennedy has no plans to enter the race to succeed Sir Reg Empey.

Instead Mr Kennedy will give his support to the new leader whoever that may be.

Sir Reg announced he would be standing down in the autumn following a disappointing election during which the party failed to win a single seat.

So far no one has declared but there's speculation that MLAs Basil McCrea and Tom Elliott may be interested in the job.

Sir Reg succeeded David Trimble as party leader in June 2005 following a disastrous general election which saw the party going from having 10 MPs in 1997 to just one.

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