Page last updated at 14:05 GMT, Friday, 29 January 2010

North Down MP Lady Hermon claims constituency support

Lady Sylvia Hermon
Lady Hermon said she had "unanimous support"

Ulster Unionist MP Sylvia Hermon claims she has the support of her constituency association, despite her opposition to a UUP/Conservative link.

The electoral link-up between the parties was forged in 2008.

Together the parties will select candidates to stand in Westminster and European elections.

Lady Hermon, MP for North Down, has refused to endorse the link-up. In October, the Conservatives selected Ian Parsley to stand in North Down.

A former Alliance Party member, Mr Parsley joined the Conservative Party in September 2009.

On 28 January, Lady Hermon met with the North Down UUP Association at it's AGM, she said it was a very "good-natured meeting".

"After such a turbulent time since making known my strong opposition to the Tory link, I was greatly encouraged and deeply appreciative of the unanimous support given to me as the MP," she said.

"In any further discussions with party officers about the forthcoming General Election, I now go forward with the full backing of my local members. All in all, I really couldn't have wished for a better outcome from the meeting."

Under the terms of the Ulster Conservatives and Unionists - New Force (UCUNF) pact, both parties would select a separate candidate for a seat, then the parties would come together to chose which candidate should go forward.

It is still not clear with the UUP or UCUNF selection meetings will take place for the North Down constituency.

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