UUP leadership hopeful delivers son

Fri, Mar 30, 2012, 01:00

ULSTER UNIONIST Party leadership contender John McCallister helped add to the population of the island yesterday by acting as emergency midwife to his wife Jane as she gave birth to a 7lb 10oz boy named Harry.

The South Down Assembly member will come up against Strangford MLA Mike Nesbitt at the UUP’s annual general meeting in Belfast tomorrow to decide who will be the next leader of the Ulster Unionists.

But on this occasion he was confronted by an even greater challenge when his wife went into labour.

Mr McCallister rang for an ambulance but Harry wasn’t prepared to wait. “There was no stopping him,” said the proud father, just hours after the drama began at 7am. “Maybe it wasn’t the most glamorous of settings being born on the bathroom floor, but he’s arrived safe and well.”

Mr McCallister took instructions on the telephone from the ambulance control centre as he helped deliver the baby. He was told to support the infant’s head. “The baby popped out and gave a wee cry, we’re both delighted,” he said. “It was a lovely moment.”

Mr McCallister, who is from a farming background, said his only previous experience of delivery was with livestock, although he was also present, but in normal circumstances, when his 18-month old daughter Molly was born.

“Maybe if I lose I can retrain as a midwife,” joked the leadership candidate.