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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 June, 2005, 17:56 GMT 18:56 UK
Peer will not seek UUP leadership
Lord Maginnis
Lord Maginnis has ruled himself out of the party leadership
An Ulster Unionist peer who expressed interest in the party leadership has said he will not seek the post.

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass said if "a horde of people" had been knocking on his door he would have been persuaded.

The former MP said communication must improve and the party has to make sure the electorate understands its message.

"I will most likely support Sir Reg Empey who has probably more than any of the other 'hats in the ring' the experience to do the job," he said.

"He will require considerable courage but he does have the opportunity to turn the fortunes of the party around."

Lord Maginnis said there were people who want the leadership of the party "who may not quite understand the extent to which that requires application, determination and courage".

He said there "may be others within the party who don't particularly want the leadership but know what needs to be done" and that he put himself in that category.

Three candidates are set to contest the leadership when the Ulster Unionist Council meets on 24 June.

They are Alan McFarland, Sir Reg Empey and David McNarry.

Previous leader David Trimble resigned when the party lost all but one of its MPs in the election.




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SEE ALSO:
Slugging it out to be UUP leader
10 Jun 05 |  Northern Ireland
Empey launches UUP leadership bid
09 Jun 05 |  Northern Ireland
McNarry joins UUP leadership race
07 Jun 05 |  Northern Ireland



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