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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 April, 2005, 07:56 GMT 08:56 UK
SDLP will not step aside in poll
Mark Durkan
Mark Durkan said SDLP will contest all 18 constituencies
SDLP leader Mark Durkan has said his party will contest the West Tyrone constituency in the general election.

Some local activists had argued that the SDLP should stand aside in the constituency in favour of the health campaigner Dr Kieran Deeney.

They hoped Dr Deeney would be able to oust the outgoing MP, Sinn Fein's Pat Doherty.

But speaking on Radio Ulster's Inside Politics, Mr Durkan said that is not the view of the SDLP leadership.

"It is my view as party leader we should run in all 18 constituencies," Mr Durkan said.

"It is the view of central committees of the party, it is the unanimous view of the party's parliamentary and assembly groups that we should have candidates in all 18 constituencies and that's what we will be offering people."

Dr Deeney topped the poll as an independent in the Northern Ireland Assembly election of November 2003.

He won a seat on a single issue ticket to save hospital services in Omagh.

Since his election, Dr Deeney has been at the centre of a campaign to reverse the decision of former Health Minister Des Browne to remove acute hospital services from Tyrone.

In January of this year, he announced his decision to stand in the general election



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SEE ALSO:
SDLP considers tactical sidestep
26 Mar 05 |  Northern Ireland
Doctor contests Westminster seat
24 Jan 05 |  Northern Ireland
Hospital campaigner tops poll
27 Nov 03 |  Northern Ireland


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