Doug Beattie , the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Upper Bann has been elected as the next leader of the Ulster Unionist Party.
Beattie who has been an MLA since 2016, stood for the position without any opponent and will take over from the party’s former leader Steve Aiken who announced his intention to stand down earlier this month.
Commenting on his successful leadership bid, Beattie said
“Today i take over as the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party. A historic party, a party of Carson and Craig, but a party which is looking to the future , a party that is modernising , a party that is trying to create a union of people, not just to protect the union but to promote the union so that people want to live in this part of the United Kingdom”
Beattie added that he feels “the weight of expectation heavy, but I’m up for that challenge” and said that he wants to reach out to “everybody here in Northern Ireland and who wants to live here , who wants to share this part of the United Kingdom.”
Beattie concluded by calling on others to join the party
“And I want to say to them, join us in the Ulster Unionist Party. Tell us what you want, give us your vision and we will turn that into a reality.
“It’s very important for me to look back and think of all those people who came before me, how they shaped our society and we cannot throw that away.
“We cannot turn the clocks back. We cannot change, but we can move forward and that is where I will be taking the Ulster Unionist Party.”
Beattie’s leadership will be confirmed by a meeting of the party later in the month
Feature image credit: Doug Beattie