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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 May, 2005, 18:00 GMT 19:00 UK
Hermon 'wants a more liberal UUP'
Lady Sylvia Hermon
Lady Sylvia Hermon said she faced a dilemma as her husband is ill
The sole surviving Ulster Unionist MP has not yet decided whether she will stand for the party leadership.

Lady Sylvia Hermon told the BBC she wanted to see her party moving in a "more liberal direction", putting clear water between itself and the DUP.

The North Down MP said she was not impressed by the idea that the party could be led by a three-strong team.

Lady Hermon said she faced a dilemma in making her decision as her husband Sir John suffers from Alzheimer's disease.

She insisted that she would "not let him down in his hour of need".

Her husband is the former chief constable of the RUC.

UUP leader David Trimble announced his decision to stand down on Saturday.

The party lost four of its MPs in the election. Mr Trimble, the former first minister in the suspended Stormont Assembly, lost his Upper Bann seat. The UUP now has one MP, compared to nine Democratic Unionists.

Lady Hermon has been an MP since 2001 when she took the North Down seat from the UK Unionist leader Robert McCartney.




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