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Politics South Down

Cllr Jill Macauley Appointed New Chairwoman of the Ulster Unionist Party

Councillor Jill Macauley has been appointed as the new Chairwoman of the Ulster Unionist Party following Danny Kennedy’s decision to step down having served over two and a half years in the role. Jill was announced as the Party Chairwoman at a meeting of the Ulster Unionist Party Executive held in Tamnamore on Saturday.

Cllr Jill Macauley said:

“It is a huge honour and privilege to be appointed by Party Leader Doug Beattie as the new Chairwoman of the Ulster Unionist Party. I am very excited for the future. I have big shoes to fill following Danny’s decision to stand down. Danny is a person of the utmost character and integrity and I wish him all the very best for the future. I don’t think anybody appreciates the magnitude of the work that goes on behind the scenes to help guide this great party forward and I intend to bring the same commitment and dedication as Danny and his predecessors.

“My focus will be on growth, attracting new party members and females in particular. We need to select and elect more female representatives to reflect the modern Northern Ireland. We are not where we want to be, but with a bit more focus and work we can get there. 

“I look forward to working with the Party Leader, fellow Party Officers and Party members as we gear up for next year’s council elections or perhaps an Assembly election before that.

“I recognise that there will be challenges ahead, but that is not anything that I or my colleagues are afraid of, nor will we shy away from. We need to focus on the future to build a better Northern Ireland and strengthen our place within the United Kingdom with the confident and positive unionism of the Ulster Unionist Party.”

Ulster Unionist Party Leader, Doug Beattie MC MLA, said:

“I want to sincerely thank Danny for everything that he has done as Chairman of the Ulster Unionist Party. People don`t realise the work that the Chair of a Party does. Since I became leader, he has always been loyal, available at all hours of the day and night and always acted in the best interests of the Party. He has had to make difficult decisions and he has delivered those with dignity and compassion. He has been absolutely exceptional. 

“I welcome Jill to the position as Party Chairwoman and I look forward to working with her in the years ahead. She is only the second female to fulfil this role and I will endeavour to give her all the support I can as we seek to drive forward and bring more females into frontline Ulster Unionist Party politics.”

Outgoing Chair Danny Kennedy said:

“I want to thank everyone for the friendship and constructive criticism over two and half years. I particularly want to thank Doug and the previous leader Steve Aiken, Party Officers and staff. I will always regard it as a significant personal honour to have been asked to be Party Chairman. I joined the Ulster Unionist Party 48 years ago and it has given me many opportunities.

“The last two and half years have been challenging with the pandemic, political challenges, and leadership change. There are many challenges going forward and what we must do is encourage new talent.

“I was delighted to be able to announce my successor, Councillor Jill Macauley. I have known Jill for many years and she comes with an impeccable record of commitment and dedication to her community and party.

“I will continue to stay involved in the Ulster Unionist Party as we look forward to Northern Ireland`s second century. To everyone I offer sincere thanks and remind people of the maxim from 117 years ago. We put country first, party second and self last. Thank you for the honour of serving.”

ENDS

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