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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 March 2007, 21:32 GMT
Ex-DUP man fails in Stormont bid
Paul Berry
Paul Berry was standing as an independent unionist
A former DUP assembly member, who quit the party following allegations over his private life, has failed to get re-elected as an independent.

Paul Berry, who topped the poll in the last assembly election, conceded defeat in Newry and Armagh.

He polled 2,317 first preference votes - about a quarter of his 2003 vote.

Mr Berry, who resigned from the DUP last year, had been running as an independent unionist on an anti-St Andrews Agreement ticket.

He fell out with his party over allegations in a Sunday newspaper during the 2005 general election campaign about an encounter with a masseur in a Belfast hotel.

'State of unionism'

When asked last month, if he had considered leaving politics, he said he was not a quitter.

He said his campaign would reflect concerns about the direction the DUP and Ulster Unionists had been taking since the St Andrews talks last October.

Speaking about his decision to run as an independent, he said: "It was not a decision I have taken lightly but it is based on the support I have received on the ground and also the volume of constituency work and caseloads which have remained heavy ever since I became an independent.

"At the end of the day, I have always been known as someone who has represented people on the ground.

"I have represented this constituency for nine years. I stand on my record and I feel given the state of unionism at this time I must fight the election."





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