DUP: Councillors Glyn Hanna and Kathryn Owen return to the party

By Stephen Walker
BBC News NI Political Correspondent

  • Published
Glyn Hanna
Image caption,
Glyn Hanna had previously said there was now a "roadmap to progress" under Sir Jeffrey Donaldson

Two councillors who left the DUP after Edwin Poots became leader have returned to the party.

Kathryn Owen and Glyn Hanna, who sit on Newry, Mourne and Down Council, left in June saying they could no longer stay as DUP representatives.

The pair told the Belfast Telegraph they feel happier in the party under Sir Jeffrey Donaldson's leadership.

Ms Owen said she believed in Sir Jeffrey's "brand of unionism".

Mr Hanna, who grew up in Kilkeel and who is a childhood friend of the DUP leader, said there was now a "roadmap to progress".

Image caption,
Kathryn Owen was co-opted on to Newry, Mourne and Down District Council in 2019

Mrs Owen also said she had been approached to join the UUP but had declined the offer.

Mr Hanna told the Belfast Telegraph that any problems he raised before were being "confronted and resolved".

The pair had originally said in a series of media interviews that they did not feel comfortable in the party and raised concerns over the way the former leader Arlene Foster was treated.

The two councillors said they had concerns about bullying and sexism.

They have been sitting as Independent councillors since leaving the party.

Image caption,
Mr Hanna's daughter Diane Forsythe also quit the party

Mr Hanna's daughter Diane Forsythe, who was a former DUP Westminster candidate, also said earlier this year she had been subjected to unacceptable remarks while she was in the party.