Wells boost as Reilly gives him backing

Wells boost as Reilly gives him backing

22 February 2017

PROMINENT unionist councillor, Henry Reilly, has this week endorsed the DUP’s Jim Wells ahead of the Assembly election poll.

Mr Reilly, who polled almost 3,000 vote at last year’s Assembly election when he stood as a TUV candidate, said he chose not to contest next week’s poll as the reduction in the number of constituency seats from six to five will make it very difficult to elect a second unionist MLA.

Now an independent councillor in Newry, Mourne and Down Council, Mr Reilly is urging people to use their vote to “maximum effect” at next week’s election, explaining if he had thrown his hat into the ring it would have “shredded the pro-union vote and made obtaining a second seat virtually impossible.”

He continued: “I have examined all possible outcomes relating to this election and have decided to lend my first preference vote to the DUP, a party I have been critical of in the past for using the prospect of there being a Sinn Fein First Minister as a scare tactic to attract unionist votes. However, it is clear to me that returning the DUP as the biggest party really does matter in this election.

“I have found the constant demands being made by Sinn Fein that we dump Arlene Foster deeply offensive. It is up to the people to make up their own minds and vote accordingly. The fact Sinn Fein brought down the Assembly because Mrs Foster did not surrender to Republican demands on releasing money to bring legal actions against our brave soldiers and police and introduce an expensive and divisive Gaelic Language Act has proved 

decisive for me in voting DUP number one.”

Mr Reilly said the DUP is the only pro-union party fielding enough candidates to actually become the biggest party, arguing other unionist parties can only ever be part of an opposition. 

He said while many are concerned about the Renewable Heart Incentive (RHI) issue, he understands the issue went through a number of Assembly committees with all parties consenting to it and actually promoting the scheme.

He added: “RHI was just an excuse for Sinn Fein to be revert to its destructive agenda that has resulted in ordinary people suffering because no Assembly budget has been set. Our voice is not being heard at UK government level on vital issues like securing control of our territorial waters and securing a good deal for our farmers and business community. I urge people to vote the DUP number one and support the other unionist candidates.”

Mr Wells said he is delighted with Mr Reilly’s support, explaining the former TUV election candidate

“has a clear understanding of the current political situation.”

He continued; “Henry, like many others, believes this election has been manufactured by Sinn Fein in an attempt to break the back of unionism and get rid of Arlene Foster. They simply cannot cope with her strong, resolute leadership. During this election campaign we have received a very warm reception from many of Henry’s supporters and his decision has confirmed the trend of unionists uniting behind the DUP to stop Sinn Fein’s demands for an Irish Language Act, same sex marriage and the attempt to rewrite the past.”

Mr Wells said there is a great deal of interest in the election across South Down as indicated by the very high number of postal vote applications. The DUP man believes Mr Reilly’s decision to back him will not only greatly help the DUP, but also maximise the unionist turn out in South Down to try and return two pro Union MLAs to Stormont.

“The DUP is the only party with enough candidates to beat Sinn Fein and I am urging all of those who voted for Henry Reilly at recent elections to give me their number one vote and then transfer to all of the other unionist candidates in the field,” added Mr Wells.