McAliskey withdraws from election

Click to follow
The remand prisoner Roisin McAliskey last night unexpectedly announced that she had changed her mind about contesting the pivotal Mid-Ulster seat in the general election.

Last week, she caused a stir by saying she intended to contest the seat and calling on other nationalist candidates to withdraw their nominations. Sinn Fein already had Martin McGuinness in the field while the SDLP candidate is Denis Haughey. It was always obvious that both parties would be reluctant to withdraw in favour of Ms McAliskey, whose mother Bernadette has been critical of both. But the strength of their opposition appears to have surprised the McAliskey family, while there was no evident surge of popular support for the candidature.