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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 April 2006, 12:07 GMT 13:07 UK
Berry plans 'full assembly role'
Paul Berry
Mr Berry says he wants to play a full part in the new assembly
Former DUP member Paul Berry has said he intends to play a full part in the assembly when it is recalled in May.

Mr Berry, now an independent member for Newry and Armagh, resigned from the DUP following a court case.

He fell out with his party over allegations in a Sunday newspaper about an encounter with a masseur in a Belfast hotel last year.

Mr Berry said he wanted to move on and represent his constituents and called for unionist unity.

He said he would take part in committees if they exist in the new assembly.

However, he would not commit himself to voting automatically with his former colleagues.

"Any decision that I make will be a decision based on what I feel is best for the unionist community," Mr Berry said.

"Therefore, people may think because I was DUP that that's the way I intend to vote.

"That's not the case. I'll still be keeping an open mind because I'm now an independent unionist."

He said the need for unionist unity was great because of the possibility of greater cooperation between London and Dublin if the assembly closes.

Mr Berry has denied any wrongdoing on his part in relation to the story in the Sunday newspaper and said that the matter remains in the hands of his solicitors.

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10 Feb 06 |  Northern Ireland
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11 Nov 05 |  Northern Ireland
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