TUV leader: 'Anger of Brexiteers main election issue'

By Stephen Walker
BBC News NI Political Correspondent

Image caption,
Mr Allister founded the party in 2007

The leader of the Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) says the main election issue is Brexiteers' anger over how the UK's departure from the EU has been handled by the government.

Jim Allister made the comments at the launch of his party's local government manifesto.

The manifesto, "Telling it as it is", focuses on a range of issues.

These include the reform of Stormont, council spending, planning and rights of veterans and victims.

'Stormont shambles'

Speaking at a Carrickfergus hotel, Mr Allister said: "The number one issue people are raising is the anger from Brexiteers over the manner in which Brexit has not been delivered.

"Secondly, it is the shambles at Stormont and our message unless we reform Stormont it will never work has a resonance as well," he added.

"Then primarily people are concerned about the scale of their rates and the fact it is always moving in one direction."

Mr Allister also referred to the murder of journalist Lyra McKee.

He said "everything is happening under a cloud" and paid tribute to Ms McKee's family, friends and colleagues in the media.

The elections across 11 council areas takes place on Thursday 2 May.

In 2014, 13 TUV councillors were elected. After a number of resignations there are currently nine councillors across Northern Ireland.

The TUV was founded in December 2007 and is standing 32 candidates in nine council areas.