Pro-Agreement Unionist politician to retire


A veteran Ulster Unionist member of the Northern Ireland Assembly is to retire at the next Stormont election.

North Down MLA Sir John Gorman (79) will not seek re-election in the next Assembly poll next May.

Sir John, a war veteran who was decorated for bravery during the Second World War with the Irish Guards, is the only Catholic MLA on Mr David Trimble's Ulster Unionist Assembly team.

The former deputy speaker of the Assembly, who was also a speaker of the Northern Ireland Forum for Political Dialogue during the Belfast Agreement talks, has been a strong supporter of the Agreement and is the third member of that wing of the UUP who will not run.

Last Friday, South Antrim MLA Mr Duncan Shipley-Dalton confirmed he would not be seeking his party's nomination to defend his seat because he could not contest it alongside Agreement sceptic, the local MP Mr David Burnside.

Last night, East Belfast MLA Mr Ian Adamson was deselected by his constituency association.