Former DUP councillor Charlie Chittick has left the party and will stand as the TUV’s first ever candidate in West Tyrone.
From the Beragh area, Mr Chittick gained a seat for the DUP in the Mid Tyrone DEA of Omagh District Council in 2005.
He spent nine years on the council before missing out in the 2014 election to the new Fermanagh and Omagh supercouncil.
The 64-year-old BT engineer had taken a step back from politics in recent times, but has stepped back into the fore, resigning from the DUP on Saturday and submitting his nomination papers as a TUV candidate on Tuesday morning.
Despite the recent scandal surrounding the DUP, Mr Chittick opted not to single out any figure within his former party for criticism.
Instead he stated, “We can’t go on as we are. Stormont is an unbelievable mess and sticking with the failed policies of the present executive parties will only produce more of the same failure and squander. I find the principled stand of TUV, as the authentic voice of traditional unionism, is resonating more and more with ordinary voters.
“My candidature arises from voters urging me to stand because they felt they had no one to vote for. Now through TUV they will be able to demonstrate firm rejection of the squander and shambles of Stormont.”
The ex-councillor is a former part-time member of the UDR, who the TUV have described as ‘a committed Christian and member of the Loyal Orders’.
TUV leader Jim Allister said he was delighted to have Charlie Chittick standing for the party in West Tyrone, putting the TUV on the ballot in the constituency for the first time.
“It is by voting TUV No. 1 that people can show their disapproval of the present shambles at Stormont. Voting for the same again will only guarantee more of the same – the very thing that isn’t working. So, I invite and encourage the people of West Tyrone to give their first preference vote to Charlie Chittick.”
READ A FULL EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH MR CHITTICK IN THURSDAY’S ULSTER HERALD