Causeway Coast and Glens councillor Sharon McKillop has announced that she has joined the Democratic Unionist Party.
Alderman McKillop was elected to Moyle District Council in 2011, representing the Giant’s Causeway electoral area and was re-elected to the Causeway electoral area of the new Causeway Coast and Glens Council in 2014.
Welcoming Ald McKillop to the DUP, Party Leader Rt Hon Arlene Foster MLA said, “I am delighted that Sharon has decided to join the Democratic Unionist Party. She is a hardworking and dedicated local representative focused on serving the community in which she lives and works. is a dedicated and committed unionist who shares the desire to promote a positive vision for Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom.
“She will play a full role as part of a strong team of DUP Councillors in the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough. I know she will be very warmly welcomed by everyone in the party and I look forward to working with her in the months and years ahead.”
Alderman McKillop, a former TUV councillor, said: “It is a huge privilege to represent the people of the Causeway DEA and I look forward to continuing that as a DUP Councillor on Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.
“I want to build a better Northern Ireland and one which we can all be proud of. As a Unionist I want to be part of promoting a strong, positive case for the Union.
“I share the DUP’s vision for this, and in particular the words of Arlene Foster when she said that Unionism does best when it is confident, outward looking and welcoming.
“I have worked closely with DUP colleagues since I was first elected and know at first-hand how the party is delivering for people right across the Borough. I want to play a full role as part of a strong team on Council with a focus on the needs of our local community.”
A TUV spokesperson said: “Given that Alderman McKillop said in her resignation email ‘I agree with the TUV policies’ we find it hard to understand firstly why she left and secondly why she should join a party which has a radically different vision for Northern Ireland which includes as a core policy partnership with Sinn Fein/IRA.
“If it is a mere move of expediency, then, it does not reflect well on Mrs McKillop.
“TUV has given Alderman McKillop a disproportionate level of support over the years. Whether her new party is so generous with its time remains to be seen.
“In six months, at the next election, TUV’s determination will be to re-take our seat and afford the local voters the TUV representation they voted for and thereby ensure the election of a representative who can improve on her poor attendance record at council meetings.”