Northern Ireland

SDLP councillor Tony Quinn resigns from party

Mr Quinn said he would now stand as an independent Image copyright SDLP
Image caption Mr Quinn said he would now stand as an independent

A SDLP councillor in Cookstown has resigned from the party.

Tony Quinn, who has been a member of the SDLP for 12 years, said he had taken the decision after a "long and measured consideration".

He said the political stalemate meant it had become more and more difficult to serve as a credible councillor.

Mr Quinn was a member on Mid Ulster District Council and has said he will now stand as an independent.

He added that the current political system was viewed by the "majority of the community as self-seeking and untrustworthy".

"My priority as an elected representative has always been the needs of my local community, and the greatest need for the community at the moment, I believe, is credible and trustworthy politics that unites and not divides," he said in a letter to the party.

"Whether we accept it or not, election after election the northern political parties are being viewed as contributing causes in the division of our communities and so I feel strongly that as an independent I can offer genuine representation across the sectarian divide."