Northern Ireland

Maurice Devenney: Former DUP MLA decides against joining Ulster Unionists

Mr Devenney has told the Londonderry Sentinel newspaper that he won't be joining the UUP
Image caption Mr Devenney has told the Londonderry Sentinel newspaper that he won't be joining the UUP

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt has expressed surprise that "unresolved issues" have stopped Maurice Devenney from joining the party.

Mr Devenney resigned from the DUP after being suspended amid claims he had brought the party into disrepute.

On Friday, the Ulster Unionist Party released a statement welcoming Mr Devenney into its fold.

However, on Monday, the Londonderry Sentinel reported that Mr Devenney had decided against joining the UUP.

The paper quotes Mr Devenney as saying: "Over the weekend further discussions ensued. As a result of those discussions there were a number of issues that, I felt, we could not find agreement on.

"I have now had the opportunity to consult with a number of individuals in the broad unionist family and, while appreciating the friendly engagement with the UUP, have decided that I will remain as an independent in the local council, going forward."

'Less sure'

Mr Nesbitt said:

"I met Maurice Devenney at his request some weeks ago. At that time, he was clear in what he wanted.

"When we met again on Saturday, I sensed he was less sure.

"I note he makes reference to a number of unresolved issues but that is news to me."

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