A former Democratic Unionist Party councillor has joined the Ulster Unionist Party.
Ryan McCready (35) was one of a number of disgruntled members who left the DUP last month over the treatment of former leader Arlene Foster.
He previously served as a Royal Irish soldier, and was elected to Derry City and Strabane District Council in the 2019 local government elections.
‘Ryan is an impressive person and councillor. He has all the qualities we need going forward. This is not just about the next election, it’s about the next five or 10 years.’
- @BeattieDoug https://t.co/xSWKkouZWL
— Ulster Unionist (@uuponline) July 5, 2021
UUP leader Doug Beattie welcomed Mr McCready as an “impressive person and councillor”.
“He has all the qualities we need going forward.
“This is not just about the next election, it’s about the next five or 10 years,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.
The DUP has been rocked by bitter divisions played out in public after successive revolts deposed former leader Arlene Foster and then her successor, Edwin Poots, who quit after just 21 days in the role.
A number of members of the DUP publicly resigned, including councillors Kathryn Owen and Glyn Hanna.
Mr Poots’ demise came only weeks after he narrowly defeated Sir Jeffrey Donaldson in the leadership contest to succeed Mrs Foster.
Mr Donaldson went on to become the next leader, however his first day in the job was marred by the resignation of North Down MLA Alex Easton who complained there was no “respect, discipline or decency” in the party.
Mr Donaldson has said he wants to heal the divisions within the party and will reach out to those who resigned.